YEAR A: HOMILY FOR PALM SUNDAY OF THE PASSION OF THE LORD
HOMILY THEME: THE LORD’S PASSION……” Are you the King of the Jews?
BY: Fr. Antoni CAROL i Hostench
HOMILY: Today, we are asked to contemplate the royal style of Christ, our savior. Jesus is a king, and —precisely— the last Sunday of our liturgical year we will celebrate Our Lord Jesus Christ the King of the world. Yes, He is King, but his kingdom is «a kingdom of truth and life, of holiness and grace, of justice, love and peace» (Preface of the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King). Amazing royalty! We men, with our terrene mentality, are not used to it.
A good king, a gentle king, who cares for the well-being of our souls: «My kingdom is not of this world» (Jn 18:36). He lets them do. With a derogatory and mocking tone, «the governor questioned him, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’. Jesus answered, ‘You say so’» (Mt 27:11). And even more mockery: Jesus is equated to Barabbas, and the crowds are to choose who is to be released: «‘Which one do you want me to release to you, Barabbas, or Jesus called Messiah?’» (Mt 27:17). And… They preferred, «Barabbas!» (cf. Mt 27:21). And… Jesus remains silent and He offers himself as a holocaust for us, who are judging him!
When He arrived in Jerusalem, early before, enthused and with simplicity, «the very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and strewed them on the road. The crowds preceding him and those following kept crying out and saying: ‘Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; hosanna in the highest’» (Mt 21:9-9). Yet, now, the very same ones are shouting: «Crucify him!». «But the governor said, ‘Why? What evil has he done?’. They only shouted the louder, ‘Let him be crucified!’» (Mt 27:22-23). «Pilate said to them, ‘Shall I crucify your king?’ The chief priests answered, ‘We have no king but Caesar’» (Jn 19:15).
This King is not obtruding himself on us, He is offering himself. His royalty is full of the spirit of service. «He is not coming to achieve glory, with pomp and splendor: He does not argue nor raises his voice, He is not noticed in the street, for He is gentle and humble (…). They do not spread before Him neither olive branches, nor tapestries or cloaks; let us offer ourselves the maximum possible» (St. Andrew of Crete, bishop).
Fr. Antoni CAROL i Hostench
(Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)