Sunday, April 01, 2007

Palm Sunday 2007

Today at the Procession with Palms the reading from Lk 19:28-40 says that Jesus was going into Jerusalem and had need of a colt. The Disciples bring it to him and as he comes into Jerusalem people throw their cloaks on the road and as he approaches the slope of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of his disciples begins to praise God aloud with joy for all the mighty deeds they have seen. They proclaim out loud:“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd then say to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” But He replies, “I tell you, if they keep silent, the stones will cry out!”

I love this reading because the Incarnation of Christ is made evident. Christ does not ask for a horse, or a chariot, he asks for a donkey! Jesus wants to be the King of the Poor, the Word Incarnate who came to experience the vulnerability of the poor, the voiceless, the defenseless. Jesus' commitment to enter our lives, share our experiences, and walk in the path of our suffering begins. The fulfilment of God's gift for us enters the final hours.

In the reading, the Pharisees try to silence the crowd who wants to praise God. In today's world there are many voices who are raised to silence people's cry for God. Last year in his Easter Message, our Holy Father asked us to pray specially for Africa, Darfur, Uganda and Zimbabwe, for Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Holy Land. Let us continue to pray for them and also for Chiapas and Oaxaca in Mexico, for all the countries in Latin America and the world where the people, the Children of God suffer. Let us pray a lot for the nations to respect human rights, religious freedom and the dignity of the peoples. Let us pray for the missionaries who take the Word to places torn by war, hunger, and violence. Let us pray that the voiceless, the defenseless, the vulnerable will find their voice so they they, us, the stones and all of creation will be able to worship God without fear and cry out: "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!"

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