• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

Friday, 12 April 2019 18:36

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord - 2019

Written by Fr Yon Wiryono SVD

Fr Yon Wiryono headshot 150Palm Sunday commemorates the triumphant entry of Christ into Jerusalem, just days before He was to be crucified. This day marks the beginning of Holy Week.  This ‘Great Week’ is a time when we follow Jesus step by step. The first movement refers to the crowd of Jerusalem who exclaimed joyfully as they welcomed Jesus. We too, welcome Him by waving our olive or palm branches, expressing our praise and our joy, and our great desire to make Jesus welcome. Jesus too, desires to enter into our hearts, our lives, our families, and our community. 

Palm Sunday, gives us a very special privilege of welcoming Jesus, as our Lord and king: by loudly exclaiming “Hosanna, Hosanna, in the highest, glory to the King of Kings!!!!”. Indeed, this is a great celebration, full of light, excitement, joy and love. 

The readings, present us with two great paradoxes about Jesus. In the  first one: a great king, the King of the universe, enters into the Holy City of Jerusalem, riding on a donkey. This is very different from what a worldly king would do! 

What kind of a King is Jesus?  Jesus is the King of God’s Kingdom. Jesus is the King of justice, mercy and peace. That is why He comes on a donkey, the symbol of peace. He is not surrounded by a powerful army. He is surrounded by people, who are very vulnerable, but who have been touched by His healing words of love and mercy.
   The second paradox, is in contrast with today’s reading. Here we celebrate the Lord’s glorious entrance into Jerusalem. Yet, at the same celebration, we also solemnly proclaim the gospel’s account of His passion. The excitement and joy of the crowd, fills the air on His entry into Jerusalem. And yet, this very crowd, will be very soon shouting: “Crucify  him!  Crucify him! a very different sound will then  fill the air around Jerusalem. 

Jesus does not enter the Holy City to receive honour or glory. He enters it to be scourged, insulted and abused, as Isaiah foretold in the first reading (is. 50:6). He enters to receive a crown of thorns, to climb Calvary, to take up the heavy burden of His cross, then carrying His heavy cross, all the way to Calvary. 

As the second reading tells us, “Christ emptied Himself, to assume the condition of a slave, humbling Himself, even accepting death on a cross”. What is the message for us?  All of us Christians, are present and alive in this paradox. I call it, the “Jesus Paradox”, because in the life and teachings of Jesus, we find ourselves, in “God’s upside-down Kingdom: where the greatest is the smallest,  and the most powerful is the weakest, and the King is always the humble servant”. 

If we are to be His disciples, we are to walk God’s way of paradoxcy; we must  “empty” ourselves in order to reach the fullness of life;  to live in service of others;  to sacrifice; in order to demonstrate true love. 

The story in the paradox is one, that helps us all, to stand firm, in our various ministries; it is an invitation, to live and bring to life, the paradoxical message. Through the whole teaching of Jesus, we are called to become part of a “contrast community”. Jesus is consistent in His teaching, even if it conflicts with the mainstream, against the power of the Pharisees and the Scribes.
 Christians too, are meant to live lives, that are in active opposition to the mainstream; lives that faithfully imitate what Jesus was being called to, in His own prophetic ministry. He stands up for what is right for His Kingdom. This faithfulness leads Jesus, right up to the punishment, on the cross, even death. St Oscar Romero, gave us a wonderful  example, of what it means, to live out our God-given vocation. We are called to stand for truth and justice, without worrying or counting the cost. 

Being true to our life’s ministry means that we dedicate ourselves to giving public witness to our identity as Christians. Being humble does not mean, that we hide our identity. Jesus knew, that the time had come for him, to be handed over. He makes use of this very last opportunity, to allow Himself to witness  publicly that He is a different King. 

In the middle of the voices of abuse being heard in our Church today, we will continue to give witness to all humankind, that we are people of Christ, even if that means being mocked, hated, humiliated for being a true follower of Christ. We will continue to live the lessons of this paradox, as Jesus Himself has lived them. As we go through this day, and this Holy Week, may we feel encouraged to walk in His footsteps, even if we find ourselves in pathways that are in opposition, to what we witness, all around us. Amen.

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