April 1, 2007 Palm Sunday (Year C)

Scripture: Isaiah 50:4-7
Psalm 22
Passion according to Luke 23:1-49

This Sunday has two names -Palm Sunday and Passion Sunday. The blessing and procession of palms shows us the kingship of Jesus-that is, Jesus is God. The Passion shows us Jesus as human who suffers with us humans. Jesus is 100% God while being 100% human. That mystery, and getting the balance is important.

Luke in today's passion narrative emphasizes that Jesus is innocent. Jesus is declared innocent 3 times by Pilate, and once each by Herod, by the 'good thief', and by the centurion.

Being inoccent Jesus freely offered his life to save each of us and bring us peace. In Galatians 2:20 Paul says:'Jesus loves me and delivered himself up for me.' That makes Jesus' sufferings very personal and present day.

Shusaku Endo explains it this way. 'In order to show the reality of the God of love, Jesus himself had to meet death in its most harrowing form. Jesus faces us and says:"Look, I am at your side. I have suffered like you. Your misery - I understand it because I went through it myself.' (Life of Jesus, ch.10) In the Epistle to the Hebrews 4:15-16, we read: 'Jesus feels our weakness with us... Let us be confident, then, in approaching the throne of grace, that we shall have mercy from him and find grace when we are in need of help.'

Do you need help? Think over the sufferings of Jesus in prayer. Let us approach Him with confidence. Jesus' sufferings bring us consolation and his Resurrenction gives us hope.

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