The liturgy marks this event as the beginning of the Passion, (Holy Week), with the particular fact that it is a glorious entrance, accompanied by the acceptance of all the people.
Why then could this mark the beginning of the Passion? Because in the plan of God, the reason of the entrance in the Holy City is not just to celebrate the Passover. The intention is the salvation through the death of His son. When we take a look at the liturgy this weekend, we see that the liturgy starts outside of the church, in which the Gospel recounts the entrance of Jesus to Jerusalem. However in the Mass, the Gospel that is read is the Passion because in some ways the readings give us the idea of the main message of this week and somehow illuminate us about the whole life of Jesus and our discipleship.
Jesus’ life has a meaning and a goal, which is the salvation of the World. Through this manifestation of the Love of God, the entrance in Jerusalem may seem like a moment of glory, but as every moment of glory of this world, it is destined to pass.
There is a conflict between Palm Sunday and Good Friday; acceptance and rejection, praises and vituperation, life and death, all of them given by the same people. Here is one of the most fundamental messages in discipleship: to follow the Master in every moment, especially in the difficult moments that apply to every aspect of life, to love, friendship, and faith. We cannot be followers only when thing go well, (only on Palm Sunday), neither can we welcome Him into our life when the moment is just joy and happiness because there are other moments in which He may seem absent but He is not. The real disciple of a real friend is the one that is always there.
We should not look for difficult moments, but we have to be ready to accept them and to embrace them, just as Jesus did. The life of our Redeemer is the combination of different moments and experiences. Even though they seem to finish in death, the reality after that is more powerful and lasting than the formers, because in the end is eternal life and resurrection.
As St. Paul teaches us: For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (Rm 8:18)
I am convinced that we may struggle in the adverse time, especially because we may not know or forgot what is at the end of the road, or just simply think that the present time, present life, or present moment, is the only thing. But the truth is that our life is a combination of Palm Sunday, Good Friday, acceptance and rejection, good and bad moments, and in the end: the peace and joy of Easter Sunday, Resurrection.
It is only when we are at the end of the road that we can look back and understand the different moments, and we know that every thing was worthy to suffer to live to overcome.
Join us this week for the Paschal Triduum, to celebrate and live the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord.