YEAR C: HOMILY FOR PALM SUNDAY OF THE PASSION OF THE LORD
HOMILY THEME: PALM SUNDAY OF THE LORD’S PASSION…..Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do”
BY: Fr. Josep Mª MASSANA i Mola
HOMILY: Today, we read the narrative of the Passion after saint Luke. Going by this evangelist, Jesus entering Jerusalem to a joyful palm parade and the passion narrative are mutually related even though the first part may sound exultant while the second one rather sounds humiliating.
Jesus enters Jerusalem as a messianic king, humble, peaceful, with a servant's attitude, not as temporal king using and abusing his power. The cross is the throne where He reigns from (He is not missing the royal crown!), by loving and forgiving. Luke's Gospel can, indeed, be summarized by saying it reveals Jesus' love made evident by his all encompassing mercy and forgiveness.
Jesus' mercy and forgiveness are certainly shown throughout Jesus' life, but more evidently upon His crucifixion. How meaningful are the three words we can today hear at the Cross, from Jesus' lips! —He loves and forgives even his executioners: «Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do» (Lk 23:34). —To the thief at his right, who asked Jesus to remember him for good in his Kingdom, Jesus grants forgiveness and salvation: «To day you shall be with me in paradise» (Lk 23:43). —Jesus mostly forgives and loves us the in the supreme moment of his submission when He cries out: «Father, into your hands I commit my spirit» (Lk 23:46).
This is the Master's last lesson at the Cross: mercy and forgiveness, fruits of love. But forgiving is so difficult for us! And yet, if we try the experience of Jesus' love that excuses us, forgive us and save us, it will not be so difficult for us to look at the others with a tenderness that forgives with love and absolve without any meanness.
Saint Francis expresses it in his Canticle of the Creatures: «Praised be You, my Lord, through those who grant pardon for love of You!».
Fr. Josep Mª MASSANA i Mola OFM (Barcelona, Spain)