Palm Sunday marks the day that Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem with cheers and joy as the people acclaimed, “Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come! Hosanna in the highest!” (Mk 11:10). But the songs of praise would turn to demands for death. In a few days, no hosannas would be offered, only the roar of the crowd that demanded for blood to be spilt, and the jeers of those who would mock and attack our gentle Savior. The palms placed before Him would be replaced with a crown of thorns forced into His skin.
In the Lord’s Passion, all the powers of darkness come to fruition in the weakness of humanity. Betrayal, abandonment, greed, selfishness, hate, pride, blood-lust — they pave the road from His agony in the garden, all the way to Golgatha. But the evils of this world could not be conquered with more evil, more conflict, more bloodshed. And He most certainly could have struck back at those who struck Him, spat on Him, and plucked His beard. We hear in Luke 2:13 that a host, that is an ARMY of angels, in the fullness of the glory of God, appeared before the shepherds who were told of our Savior’s birth. We see at His birth the divine power that was at His disposal. Though we, (especially men) love to dive head first into a problem that needs fixing, or come to the aid of one who is in need, the Father does not respond to the full assault of the enemy with one of His own. Rather, our God, who is Love (1John 4:8) responds with submission, with humility, and yes, love.
And look at the power found in His love! Where are the descendants of Caiaphas, Pilate, or even the Caesar Augustus? They are nowhere to be found, and if they exist they are no longer the wielders of power! But WE, WE as people of faith, as Christians, as Catholics, are the children of a victorious Savior! He did not conquer death with strength or self-reliance:
Rather, He won the victory with sacrificial love and humility!!! When people want to win a fight, they rarely take lessons in humility or love, they seek ways to overpower, to conquer, to be self reliable! But Jesus submits His will to that of the Father, He seeks not self-reliability, but solely a reliance on the will of the Father:
Christ won for us the victory, and because of Him, we have the opportunity for everlasting life. Our humanity is weak, our nature damaged, our will to do right often in conflict with our will to do wrong, but Jesus lovingly, gently, and WILLINGLY takes on our weakness, and it is in Him that we find strength, true power. This is a power that is freely given if only we will ask for His help, abide in His love, and TRUST in His will. TRUST in the One who conquered the world, created the intricacies of time and space, who created galaxies, stars, and animals, and yet, was not satisfied, that is, did not stop to rest until He formed man, my heart and yours, a people to share His love, His love that is pure gift. A love that is scandalous to the world, that does not calculate, that does not falter, but is mercifully given.