The Passion of Jesus for Us

Apr 7, 2020

Gospel Reflection
Passion Sunday Year A
The Passion of Jesus for Us

The entry of Jesus into Jerusalem began with a great crowd of people shouting an enthusiastic “Hosanna”.  But then a few days later, they shouted with an agitated, “Crucify him!”.  Christians everywhere since approximately the year 30 have celebrated this feast day.  Now this year, we won’t get to celebrate it in person except for those helping with a recorded Mass.  But we will indeed experience what the people of that time experienced.  What started out for them so promisingly gave way to days and hours full of trouble, worry, anxiety, and a growing sense of injustice that led to Jesus’ arrest, sentencing, and cruel crucifixion.  But despite the tragedy of the coming days, everything will ultimately end, not in hopelessness, but with Easter morning. 

For us too, we are filled with trouble, worry and anxiety in these days, knowing at the same time that there are those who are sharing in the passion of Jesus to a much greater degree than ourselves. 

Jesus adds fuel to the fire of hope by mounting a female donkey and rides it toward the city.  He does so quite consciously, fulfilling prophecy and revealing his humility as the Messiah, the awaited king.  The people who shouted “Hosanna” had great hope that he would help them.  But it turned out differently when, after a few days, they hung Him on a cross in mockery with Pilate writing “The King of the Jews” on it.

But it was not the end.  Easter morning came with the empty tomb and the Resurrected One.  We will take a dramatic journey with Christ in the coming days.  It is called “Holy Week”, the high point of all of our Christian celebrations.  This year, we will take this dramatic journey in an interior way with our Lord.  When we take this journey with our whole hearts we will be changed in the right way.  No one does not know the cross and suffering.  This year we will know that suffering in a different way, and a death like none experienced before awaits us.  But then comes a new Easter.  Our God is a God who promises something new.  A new birth.  The tomb does not have the last word.  Holy Week tells us this because it is true not only for Jesus and for the people of his time, but for us as well.

May God bless you and your family.

Father Tony