This Sunday is commonly known as Palm Sunday. So coming for Mass and getting a blessed palm branch and bringing it home is what this Sunday means to us.
When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the crowds waved leafy palm branches to welcome Him with “Hosanna in the highest.”
But we must remember that with Palm Sunday, we enter into Holy Week. Although commonly known as Palm Sunday, this Sunday is also known as Passion Sunday, and the long gospel reading recalls the suffering and death of Jesus.
This Sunday prepares us for what is coming up this week – Holy Thursday when we remember Jesus giving us His Body and Blood at the Last Supper, and Good Friday when we recall how Jesus suffered and died for us on the cross.
The blessing and waving of the palm branches at the beginning of the Mass moved on to the suffering and death of Jesus.
So Palm Sunday has quite a bit to tell us about life. Happiness will give way to sadness, fitness will give way to illness, glory will give way to agony.
What we are so certain and sure about will be put to the test – promises, faithfulness, courage, commitment. All that will be put to the test and may be found wanting and lacking.
Yet Palm Sunday has a revelation for us. The crowds hailed Jesus with “Hosanna in the highest”. Then they demanded “Crucify him!” Jesus was mocked and jeered at.
But the revelation comes at the end, and it comes from an unexpected person. It was the centurion, a pagan, who proclaimed who Jesus really was: “In truth this man was the son of God”.
As we journey with Jesus in His suffering and death during Holy Week, may we also receive a revelation of who He truly is and who we are to Him.