Today we celebrate the Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday commemorates the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. The gospels record the arrival of Jesus riding into the city on a donkey, while the crowds spread their cloaks and palm branches on the street and shout “Hosanna to the Son of David” and “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” and they honor him as their long-awaited Messiah and King. The significance of Jesus riding a donkey and having his way paved with palm branches is a fulfillment of a prophecy spoken by the prophet Zechariah and in so doing emphasized the humility that was to characterize the Kingdom he proclaimed. The donkey was a symbol of peace; those who rode upon them proclaimed peaceful intentions. As Jesus began His exuberant entrance into Jerusalem, many people gathered on the road and spread their clothes in front of him and shouted Hosanna. The church today reminds us the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and also to remind people of the beginning of the Passion of our Lord. The simplest of terms, Palm Sunday is an occasion for reflecting on the final week of Jesus’ life. It is a time for Christians to prepare their hearts for the agony of His Passion and death while awaiting the joy of His Resurrection.
Today with the beginning of the Holy week, we focus intently on the heart of the mystery of Salvation. It is the mystery of dying and rising, the mystery of humiliation and exaltation. Today’s liturgy prepares us specially for the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. It gives the picture of Joy and at the same time invites us to meditate on his sufferings. What Jesus experiences for us is a manifestation of God’s overwhelming love for each one of us. Further, by identifying ourselves with the ‘mystery’ of Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection we experience a great liberation, a ‘Passover’ from various forms of sin and enslavement to a life of joy and freedom.