Monday, April 2, 2018

A different kind of King - 'The Victory of Palm Sunday'

Dear Parish Faithful,

The Feast of Palms - Liturgically, this splendid Feast Day is behind us for this year, but the meaning of each feast is always timely as it reveals something of great significance in the life of Christ and, by extension, in our lives. Here is an insightful reflection as to how Palm Sunday impacts our perception of life and where real strength is to be found:

Today, on Palm Sunday, we have fasted forty days, we are hungry, and if ever we face temptation from Satan, it is now. We face the temptation to gratify ourselves with worldly delights. We face the temptation to demand our liberty from everything and everyone that oppresses us. We face the temptation to fight for strength, and wealth, and power. This is the spiritual warfare that constantly rages on all sides, and today on Palm Sunday the battle is particularly violent.

As Jesus enters Jerusalem, he faces these temptations as never before - all of those people cheering, crying out "Hosanna!," just begging him to be their worldly general, their commander, their emperor. 
Yet, Christ refuses to be the earthly king that people demand. Instead he will be revealed as a kind of king that the world has never seen, a perfect king, a heavenly king, a humble king, crowned with thorns, robes in the purple of mockery, and enthroned on the Cross.

Though Christ enters Jerusalem and is enveloped in a firestorm of temptation, he keeps his eyes on the Cross. This is the victory of Palm Sunday.

~ Father J. Sergius Halvorsen

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