Palm Sunday Homily - Apr 5, 2020
In the late afternoon of March 29, the town of Shaunavon did their triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The medical workers, in the midst of this pandemic, received great honour and appreciation from people in the entire world simultaneously. The sound of police and fire truck siren reverberated in the atmosphere of the whole town of Shaunavon. They were accompanied by supportive town folks cheering and blowing their horns at the facade of the hospital to throw our gratitude, support and encouragement for these professionals who are at the very frontline of the battlefield against this invisible and invincible enemy of the whole humanity. In different countries, they are greatly taken good care by both civic and government agencies by providing them food, place to rest and additional remuneration for their bravery and dedication to look after the patients. People realized that only through laying down one’s life, we will surely prevail. Everybody is hopeful anticipating for the much awaited victory in the near future.
We are now on the period of Holy Week which is the immediate preparation for the Resurrection of Jesus which is the summit of Christian life. This Sunday is being called Palm Sunday and Triumphant Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. It is called so called because we commemorate the gestures of the people waving their palms as a symbol of welcoming the king who was just coming from the conquest. When the people started chanting “Hosanna to the Son of David, it is a symbol of praise and adoration to Jesus for his willingness to lay down His life as a ransom for many. The very first instance of winning in the life of Jesus is that the word of God reigns over Him which tells Him that He has to sacrifice His life in the near future. In this odd situation, we do not only rely on human power but absolutely on divine intervention. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said “Can’t understand what more can we do, all solutions are already exhausted on ground. Our only hope remains up in the sky, God rescue your people”.
We have to see the value of prayer. The prophet Isaiah in the first reading tells us that “morning by morning, he wakens – wakens my ears to listen as those who are taught. It is good to remember that before Jesus decided to enter Jerusalem to carry and die on the cross, He spent a night in intense prayer. Blood oozed from His face which is a sign of His sincere and prevent prayer. Nowadays, everybody realizes how important prayer is, from patient to medical workers, from Christians to non Christians, from young to old people that prayer makes us strong, focuses and determines us so that we can achieve our desired goal. Everybody gradually realizes that the perfect weapon to knock down this monstrous enemy is not only medication but mediation.
We need to abandon ourselves to God. The second reading which is taken from the Letter of Paul to the Philippians reminds about who Jesus is. Though He was in the form of God, Jesus did not deem equality with God. He emptied Himself and took the form of man”. When Jesus finally made up His mind to embrace death, He was not thinking about his personal benefit but humanity’s gain from His death. Abandoning ourselves to God means that we are ready to lose everything without thinking anything in return. It is good to ask ourselves, what are those or is it that I have lost or I am ready to lose to heal the sick and help displaced by this pandemic? Our readiness to reconstruct the world at the expense of losing our dear life is the key to real victory.