Today is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week. We celebrate today Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. The apparently triumphant scene – with people shouting “Hosanna” and laying palm branches before his path – may, in one respect, seem a cruel mockery to us, as we know what awaits Jesus.
Yet, we still march into our churches, waving our palms and we cry out, just as the people of Jerusalem did, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” The difference is that we shout it knowing we are paying homage to no worldly king.
Instead, we wave our palms and sing our Hosannas to the Messiah who, in the words of the Palm Sunday invocation by the priest prior to the processional into church, “entered in triumph into his own city, to complete his work as our Messiah: to suffer, to dies, and to rise again.” For us, the triumphal entry is the prelude to Jesus’ suffering and death, which allows us to “share in his resurreciton and new life.”
And so, on this day, we not only process in with our palms and our hosannas. As we will again on Good Friday, we listen to The Passion of our Lord, knowing that the King to whom we pay homage is on his way to his death, willingly undertaken for our sake.