With today’s celebration, we begin Holy Week. The entrance of Jesus into the Holy City of Jerusalem, accompanied by the triumphant acclamation of the crowds, has no other purpose than the celebration of the Passover Feast of Jesus. This is anticipation or a figure of the Real Passover, the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, of which the Old Testament Passover feast is just a foreshadowing.
The reason why we hear the proclamation of the Passion of the Lord this Sunday is because each one of us is called to have a global vision of the whole act of salvation. Sometimes, we only focus on Jesus’ Death, but we do not remember all of the other events surrounding that very moment. Every day, every hour of Jesus’ Life is a step toward that very moment of his Death.
The Death of Jesus is not only a physical death; it is also the betrayal and abandonment by his friends, the rejection by his own people, and the last days of the Son of God on earth.
When we read the life of Jesus, there are many things in the gospels that you may expunge, yet his life will be the same, but there is one thing you cannot delete, and that is his Passion. In words of Martin Kahler, we can say: “One could call the gospels passion narratives with extended introductions.”
The Passion cannot be taken away from the life of the Messiah. It is the moment that divides people, even those who follow him, making them deny, betray or abandon him. It is similar (although not exactly the same) to the most difficult moments of our lives in which some of our closest friends leave us alone, because many are happy to share the triumphs of life with you, but how many choose to share your moments of pain, deception, defeat… your passion?
This week, let us put all of our efforts to discover our place in the Lord’s Passion. Are we close to Jesus? Are we the ones who remain with him in his hour of need?
I encourage you to follow the Lord this week, in the triumph of his entrance in Jerusalem, at His Last Supper, in his prayer in the Garden, in prison, on the Way of the Cross, at his Death… and then… in his Resurrection.