Palm Sunday Reflection

Going into Holy Week, let's consider the big picture

Today remember that the people will exultantly shout, “Hosanna, hosanna!” and line the path of Jesus to throw palms on the ground before him.On Good Friday, they’ll shout, “Crucify him, crucify him!” and line up along the path to Golgotha to spit on him.

What changes a heart from “Hosanna!” to “Crucify him!”? Why do we hear of only women weeping for Our Lord, Veronica wanting to tend to him, and only one man, Simon, begrudgingly showing compassion and sympathy? 

Maybe those Sunday “Hosannas” weren’t sincere. Maybe Jesus wasn’t the type of messiah that they wanted, so they threw him away by Friday. We still do that today. We want “the Church” or “the Faith” of our desires and throw it away or fabricate a new one when the real thing is not our hearts’ desire, or not what we expect. Some of us herald the idea of “Catholic” but then scourge and crucify the Mystical Body.

Maybe the weeping women and Veronica saw something most of the other people weren’t seeing. Pride has a blinding effect, while humility opens the eyes of the heart and leads to compassion and obedience. We see that opening of the eyes in Simon. Maybe Simon, the guilty sinner, realized he was not an innocent man carrying the cross of a criminal, but that he himself was the criminal, and Jesus, indeed the innocent man. 

The entire story between the Palms of Sunday and the passion of the following Friday demonstrates the dark condition of man and how much we all need Jesus in order to be transformed into his image. The image of his face was left on the veil of Veronica, and maybe the image of his heart was left on the heart of Simon. What is the image impressed upon the hearts of those who spat on him and cheered during his torture and execution? I leave that for you to consider. But remember that Jesus said, “Forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.”

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