Fr Ray’s Homily Palm Sunday

Homily Palm Sunday Yr C 14.4.19 8.00 & 10.30
Palms Luke 19:28-40. Isa 50:4-9a. Ps 31:9-16. Phil 2:5-11. Luke 22:14-23-56.

Most of us have had to carry heavy burdens in our lives. Did we force ourselves to carry on regardless, putting a brave face on it? Whilst all the time churning away inside and feeling dreadful!?

Have you ever tried to put yourself in Jesus shoes? The crowd rapturously hailed him at his entry to Jerusalem – laying their clothes in front of him, strewing his way with palm leaves and flowers. They truly loved that man.

Jesus knew what lay ahead and it was a dreadful burden. He knew he was going to be betrayed, arrested, subjected to false trial, tortured, made to struggle in agony carrying the cross of his death; and the most degrading and humiliating, agonising death.

And the crowds? Were they fickle hypocrites? No, they loved that man and their cheering welcome was from the heart. But their leaders manipulated them emotionally, they gave false religious teaching and turned the crowd into a baying mob, shouting “Crucify Him!”.

Did Jesus struggle on stoically, putting a brave face on it, acknowledging the cheers of the crowd – whilst churning away miserably inside? No! The secret lies in Psalm 31 we have just sung verse 14 “But I trust in thee, O Lord, I say, “thou art my God”, my times are in thy hand!”

Yes, Jesus slipped a couple of times. He was God but fully human – in the Gethsemane garden he said “Do I really have to go through with this – thy will be done”. On the cross, writhing in pain, he said “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

As we struggle with our own personal burdens, we can try to struggle on stoically, putting a brave face on it – or we can really learn how to trust. This trust comes by truly handing everything over to the Lord from deep down within our hearts. But we are also fully human! We may occasionally try to briefly drag it back, taking the misery back again into our own souls; but as soon as that happens we hand it back over again – and true peace returns to our souls.

Despite the agony and the pandemonium, Jesus continued in serenity and peace. We know that all was beautifully restored in the Resurrection but his peace was with him throughout.

So we can also have His peace, no matter what we have to do, if we fully trust in him.