Sunday is called Palm or Passion Sunday and is the beginning of Holy Week that culminates with Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday. These three days are the highlight of the Church year. There are two gospels for Palm Sunday. The first tells us of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The second is our gospel reading for this Sunday’s liturgy. It is a very long reading because it is the story of the Passion of our Lord. It tells us a very important truth: Jesus died for us. He died for each and every one of us. Have you ever really thought about this – that Jesus died for you? Are you grateful for this wonderful act of love?
The following words are a good image of what we might think about during this important week.
During Holy Week we are invited to journey with Jesus. We are called to face our own contradictions with God. What is hidden from our eyes? If God is all-powerful, why does God permit war, disease, and poverty? If God is all-knowing, why does God allow children to be born to parents who will abuse them? Why does God never answer our whys? During Holy Week, the king of creation rides into our lives on a donkey and then dies on a cross. This is absurd! Can there be any doubt that God expresses power and knowledge in ways that are most often beyond our comprehension?
When we peel back the layers of pain and suffering of Holy Week, we will find a God whose almighty power and knowledge is love. We find a God who weeps for us when we are blind to the reality of our situation. We find a God who in humility serves us. We find a God who, out of love, forgives us “for we know not what we do.” By the end of Holy Week, we have stripped Jesus of all of his titles. Jesus is not the Lord that we want. Jesus is not the savior that we want. And Jesus is not the king that we want. But with God, we do not get what we want; we get what we need. In the end, God is love. (The Rev. Sarah D. Odderstol – St. Mary’s Episcopal Church)
How will you make this Holy Week special as you realize the great cost of Jesus’ death for you?