Palm Sunday

Mk 11:1-10; Is 50:4-7; Phil 2:6-11; Mk 14:1–15:47 (Year B)

The blessing and distribution of palms at the beginning of Holy Week invites us to deepen our communion with the death and the Resurrection of the Lord. The palms that we take home are a constant reminder that a week begun in joyful welcome was to become a week of rejection, death and Resurrection. The superficiality of the crowd’s acclamation soon became the orchestrated condemnation of the mob.

If our week is to become a deepening communion in the death and Resurrection of the Lord, we must face this same contradiction in ourselves. We welcome the Lord, but so easily bypass the death that we must share with him if we are to participate in the fullness of his Resurrection.

The words of the prophet Isaiah place listening at the heart of Holy Week: “The Lord has given me a disciple’s tongue, so that I may know how to reply to the wearied he provides me with speech. Each morning he wakens me to hear. For my part, I made no resistance, neither did I turn away.”

Isaiah’s faithful servant listened to the will of God, to what its consequences might mean for himself. His assurance lay not in his own strength, but “in the Lord who comes to my help”.

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