1The Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread* were to take place in two days’ time. So the chief priests and the scribes were seeking a way to arrest him by treachery and put him to death. 2They said, “Not during the festival, for fear that there may be a riot among the people.”
3When he was in Bethany reclining at table in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of perfumed oil, costly genuine spikenard. She broke the alabaster jar and poured it on his head. 4There were some who were indignant. “Why has there been this waste of perfumed oil? 5It could have been sold for more than three hundred days’ wages and the money given to the poor.” They were infuriated with her. 6Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you make trouble for her? She has done a good thing for me. 7The poor you will always have with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them, but you will not always have me. 8She has done what she could. She has anticipated anointing my body for burial. 9Amen, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed to the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”
10Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went off to the chief priests to hand him over to them.11When they heard him they were pleased and promised to pay him money. Then he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.
12On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, “Where do you want us to go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 13He sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city and a man will meet you, carrying a jar of water. Follow him. 14Wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’15Then he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready. Make the preparations for us there.”
Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses watched where he was laid.
Palm Sunday is the beginning of the Passion events we have just read. It is a day of mystery and deep reflection for us. We have all seen pictures and paintings of that first Palm Sunday as Jesus rides a donkey into Jerusalem. He doesn’t enter on a white charger (The Roman equivalent of a tank) but a young donkey to show that He is coming to do battle but not with military weapons.
In a demonstration that is not organized but truly spontaneous, the people wave palms to salute Him. Jesus, however, doesn’t enter by waving back to the people as dignitaries do. He has a solemnity and resolution about him that is profound.
What was on His mind?
He knows that many of these same people will shortly turn on Him. He knows what awaits him in Jerusalem. Yet, He knows also he is doing the Father’s will. So, with courage and confidence in God the Father He moves forward to Jerusalem.
We always have a Jerusalem ahead of us. For us it is not a city but it might be an illness, a change in our life, a problem, challenge or perhaps uncertainty ahead of us. Jesus shows us how to move toward our Jerusalem.
As with Jesus, many people who say they will be with us probably will not be. Yet, we must move forward, facing whatever lies ahead, knowing that Jesus has been there before. That is one message for us of Palm Sunday. We are not entering our Jerusalem alone. Jesus has been there.
As we begin this Holy Week that recalls the greatest events of our redemption, let us ask the Lord to give us the grace and the strength to face whatever is ahead of us. Jesus shows that the cross, whatever form it takes in our life (and in each life it is slightly different but is still a cross), can lead to salvation and new life.
Palm Sunday and the Passion teach us that whatever lies in our future, Jesus has been there first. He knows and shows the way that will lead to Easter for us.
Reflection Credits: Rev. S. Joseph Krempa
Source: The Meditation is from Bro. Abel Navarro (you can visit his blog at http://myblogabelnavarroabel.blogspot.com/).