March 29, 2015

The Gospel Today

Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

Mark 11:1-10

When Jesus and his disciples drew near to Jerusalem,
to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives,
he sent two of his disciples and said to them,
“Go into the village opposite you,
and immediately on entering it,
you will find a colt tethered on which no one has ever sat.
Untie it and bring it here.
If anyone should say to you,
‘Why are you doing this?’ reply,
‘The Master has need of it
and will send it back here at once.’”
So they went off
and found a colt tethered at a gate outside on the street,
and they untied it.
Some of the bystanders said to them,
“What are you doing, untying the colt?”
They answered them just as Jesus had told them to,
and they permitted them to do it.
So they brought the colt to Jesus
and put their cloaks over it.
And he sat on it.
Many people spread their cloaks on the road,
and others spread leafy branches
that they had cut from the fields.
Those preceding him as well as those following kept crying out:
“Hosanna!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come!
Hosanna in the highest!”
Reflection (Sem.  Jorge A. Santiago, Jr.):

            Today we celebrate Palm Sunday. This is the time of rejoicing and praising God. This is the start of the fulfillment of what is written in the law. The Son of Man will come. But let us not forget that He came not as a mighty king who would rule mankind. A king with a lavish court and a kingdom that is noticeable. The King who came was calm and gentle. He is the one who literally became man to be with the people. To eat with them, to empathize with them, to be one with them, and to suffer with them.

He came to save. He came to the lowly and the sinners. Those who did not know Him did not notice Him. Their perception of a king was different from what they thought. He did not have a kingdom but the people whom He touched, whom He encountered with, and whom He knew that He is the Son of God.

Hosana to our King! That’s what the people said when Jesus came to Jerusalem. It was not a grand parade but a parade of faithful who exalted Him as king. As simple as He was, He was given the grand accord by the people who believed. The simple act of removing their cloak and spreading it on the road where He would pass was an act of respect for the King who is to come. He was welcomed not by the people with the highest honor but welcomed by ordinary, lowly people who only have little. It is not about the material things but the purity of heart.

The lenten season is about to end and as we begin the Holy Week, let us look back on what we have done to prepare for the season. Most often than not, we hear our parish priest’s continually reminding us to repent. The season of doing sacrifice and, most of all, the season to reconcile with God and with one another.

If one is observant, the vestments used in today’s celebration are different from the other days in the season of Lent. Today the priests are wearing Red as a symbol of feasting and rejoicing. But what is it that we celebrate? Is it the kingship of Jesus or the fulfillment of our redemption?

As we enter the Holy Week, let us not forget the reason for the season. We always hear this phrase ‘reason for the season’ but have we ever stopped and pondered on what it really means? It is God giving His life for our salvation and the continuous invitation of God to be with Him.

My formation like the calendar year has its own season and reason. Most often than not as I deepen my relationship with God, the more I understand that there is so much more that I need to know but God cannot be undone with generosity because He continually grants me the grace to know what He wills for me. I may not understand it at first but because of this grace, He reveals what I need to know in His perfect time.

Let us continue to ask for the grace of perseverance and believe that God’s will is always perfect. Just like the people who welcomed Jesus, Hosana to our King!

 

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