Page 82 - Lent2012v3b

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Palm Sunday
of the Passion of the Lord
Mark 11:1-10 or John 12:12-16
Isaiah 50:4-7
Psalm 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24
Philippans 2:6-11
Mark 14: 1-15:47 or 15:1-39
The gospel readings today start with the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, when Je-
sus is welcomed with such enthusiasm by the people. He is heralded as their
King, as their Messiah, as their Savior. The rest of the readings shift the mood
dramatically, with the gospel narrating how a few short days later, Jesus is ar-
rested, imprisoned, tried, sentenced, and crucified.
There have been times in my life when I have felt everything was going magnifi-
cently: I was successful in my work, I received accolades from my colleagues,
and I had many friends. These were also the times when I noticed a tendency
complacent pride in my heartˁafter all, I could do no wrong!
There have been other times in my life, when it felt like nothing I did could go
right. There were conflicts and tensions at work, the professional accolades were
in abeyance, and some of my personal relationships were in tatters. At these
times, I would find myself cowering spiritually, my self-esteem badly dented,
convinced that I was worthless.
In the opening readings from Mark and John,
we see Jesus experiencing one of the greatest
ˈhighsˉ in his life, the entry into Jerusalem.
Then, just a few short days later, he experi-
ences the greatest ˈlowˉ imaginable: betrayed
by his friends, and by those who had lauded
him just a few days before, dying an agoniz-
ing, lonely death on the Cross.
Notice how Jesus handles the highs and lows.
He enters Jerusalem, not with pomp and circumstance, puffed up with pride, but