10 April 2022 – Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord (Year C)

by Fr Francis Anthony

Luke 19:28-40
Isaiah 50:4-7
Psalm 21
Philippians 2:6-11
Luke 22:14-23:56

Be Faithful Disciples following the Master

Procession into church

Today we begin Holy Week. Lenten Season began with Ash Wednesday and we are still in Lenten Season and today we are commemorating Jesus’ triumphant entry to Jerusalem. And it so happens we are having Luke’s Gospel and from Chapter 9 onwards, Jesus had been telling his disciples that he is on his way to Jerusalem and he was very eager because he was going to save them, and us included, in Jerusalem by his passion, death and resurrection.

And that is the background why, when Jesus came to the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude began to rejoice. They saw their redemption, the great promise made by God to the Prophets, as early as Abraham. And the people were rejoicing, the day of their liberation is at hand.

And we, going through all our Lenten exercises, let us have that same feeling – At last the Saviour has come.

If we had the normal procession, it would have been from the hall to here. The procession has been cut due to this Covid but we are entering with Jesus, here we are already here, to the sanctuary.

We are at the foot of Mount of Olives (we want to say). And we are going to the altar and that is where Jesus is every time we celebrate the Eucharist. He is dying and rising. He is giving himself to us. So let us thank God, our spiritual exercises has led us to the central point of our mystery, the salvation that God is giving us.

We begin Holy Week and the Holy Week is not because these days are special. It is because through all our reflection, we are able to purify ourselves and link ourselves with Jesus.

Dear friends, if we had the procession, we will say “Dear sisters and brothers, like the crowd we acclaim Jesus in Jerusalem. Let us go in peace.”

So please stand and imagine we have come to the conclusion of our procession and we are in the church.

Click below to listen to homily and watch video:

The Passion Reading

Dear friends, it was a moving time to see what happened to Jesus who was in the midst of the people, doing good, healing them, teaching them, giving them food, and what were they there for?

“Crucify Him!”

They did not want to be challenged. They were so fixed in their ways that through the instigation of the Pharisees, they yelled out ‘Crucify Him!‘.

But if you follow the readings closely, especially the First Reading we had from Prophet Isaiah, it is so consoling that in the midst of the people, there were others having other view of this man. And it says:-

The Lord has given me a disciple’s tongue so that I may know how to reply to the weary.

Yes, God had given me and your presence here is showing that. You are here with a disciple’s tongue. And then it goes further:-

The Lord has opened my ear.

Yes, if we are spending this almost over one and a half hours in the church today, in this long ceremony, it is because we are not with the crowd that yelled ‘Crucify Him!‘. We are trying our best to be faithful but unfortunately due to our human weakness, very often we say ‘No‘ to God and give in to our selfish desires.

And God is aware. He knows how weak the human nature is. He created them and within a few days you will see Eve and Adam giving in to temptation and they were driven out from the garden. But at that moment, Chapter 3 of the Book of Genesis, God promised salvation.

And today, when we are reading these scriptures and going through these beautiful days of Holy Week, ask God to help us to look into our lives and to turn to Him. As I said earlier, these days are as good as any days but we call it Holy because we are asking God to help us to turn away. To help us with all our human weaknesses yet to be with Him. And let us hear the beautiful words of Jesus (He said on the cross):-

Today, you will be with me in paradise.

Yes, consolation. but before that He said:-

Father, forgive them. They do not know what they are doing.

So we have our mediator who has come to die for us, to save us, to reconcile us to the Father.

So as we journey these few days, let us see the areas that I should change. Let us see what I have to do to be faithful to my baptismal promises. How I can turn and make myself holy, that is to say, different from what I usually am. That I want to be with Jesus.

Let us ask God to bless all of us as we journey in this Holy Week that we will be able to turn to Him and ask God the Father’s forgiveness and thank God for having given us a person like Jesus who goes to the extreme, to die for us the cruel death so that we may be alive.

Click below to listen to homily and watch video:

Click to live-stream Mass on 10 April 2022