Palm Sunday: What Do You Make of It?

Palm Sunday: What Do You Make of It?


By Mary Jane Wallace

Welcome to the Sunday with a split personality. It starts with an upbeat gospel recounting Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It is a festive affair, complete with a parade route strewn with palm branches instead of ticker tape.

But we quickly progress to the stark reading of Jesus’ passion, bearable only because we already know its happy ending.

This Sunday has 2 names: Palm Sunday and Passion Sunday. It seems to me it could also be called Fickle Sunday! For the same crowd that was cheering during the parade was jeering a few days later.

The people first were wowed by Jesus’ sermons, fed with loaves and fishes, healed of their diseases, delivered of their demons.

But as soon as the tide began to turn, so did they. Their cries of “Hosanna” turned to shouts of a very different kind: “Crucify him!”

Of course, he was not surprised in the least:

The gospels tell us that Jesus knew the human mind and heart all too well.

He was not fooled by all the acclamations and fanfare. Flattery could not swell his head.

Jesus had no illusions of grandeur or ambition for worldly glory. In fact, our second reading tells us that he had willingly emptied himself of heavenly glory in pursuit of his true passion – His Father’s will and our salvation.

There are many words and many scenes in today’s Gospel. Let’s reflect on just one scene, one word.

The scene is that of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on the donkey. The word is Hosanna!

1.         Picture the large crowd. You are among this crowd.

2.         There is a lot of background noise and talking.

3.         Yet, we hear people singing HOSANNA!

4.         They are waving their palms with cheer.

5.         As Jesus comes, looking to the left, looking to the right, what does he see?

7.         What do you see, hear, feel?

8.         The crowd is looking for a King! But not the King Jesus wishes to be for them.

9.         What kind of a King are you seeking?

As we watch the procession continue down the path, we notice that Jesus gives the donkey a slight pat with his hand and the donkey slows down and stops.

1.         Jesus looks directly at YOU.

2.         His brown eyes look deep within to the eyes of your heart.

3.         What does He see?

4.         Without words, what does he say to you?

I’ve read, “Sometimes the best conversations are those when no words need to be spoken.”

I believe this is one of those moments.

As you wave the branches and sing Hosanna, stop and consider what it means. 

The Dictionary says Hosanna is used to express adoration, praise or joy.

The Hebrew definition calls Hosanna a prayer that means “O Lord, save us, we pray!”

What does it mean to you?


Comments (3)

  1. Ann Carolan:
    Mar 24, 2018 at 11:46 AM

    You have made Palm Sunday more meaningful to me. I will envision the scene in a different way. Thank you!

  2. Helen:
    Mar 25, 2018 at 10:35 AM

    So wonderful to read your message on Palm Sunday. Love that smiley face of yours. Thanks for sharing. Have a blessed and joyous Easter.????????????????????. Love you.

  3. Laurie:
    Apr 04, 2018 at 01:14 AM

    Beautiful. Who among us can avoid being “seen” when those eyes meet ours.

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