Homily: Palm Sunday, Cycle A

Readings of the day

Taking a walk with a friend can be more than exercise. Walking together is a way of sharing spirits. Whatever you see, you see together. Whatever you hear, you hear together. Whatever you encounter, you encounter together. Walking together is an opportunity to talk that is unhurried; there can be great silences, dramatic shifts in attitude from wonder to despair to joy to silliness to seriousness. What we share on the trip are things that we will remember and reflect on for years to come.

Today we have begun a walk with Jesus. The journey began from a mountaintop amid great celebration. It was a fulfillment of a promise and a promise of things to come. The journey came into the city of Jerusalem itself. Then, our walk with Jesus brought us to a room on a Passover Eve, to share an old meal in a new way. It was an intimate place; a group of people who knew each other well. It was a place of incredible sayings and incredible things. It was a place where someone left early, and why he left was not known until later. Our journey went out back across the Kidron valley, past the Tombs of the Prophets to Gethsemane at the base of the Mount of Olives. A place of hiding, a place of secret. A place to run from, at need. There was agony, despair, uncertainty. Tension that you could taste in the air. Our journey met disaster, betrayal, arrest, denial, abuse, darkness.

Then daylight brought a trial in a kangaroo court. Our journey went back and forth between two seemingly uninterested rulers in the face of a hostile crowd. It went from false accusation to intellectual sparring to ignorant brutality to a burden, dragging a cross through narrow streets outside the walls to a hill.

Our journey is not over this week. The rest of our journey is not a mystery, but it is not over. We may not be able to understand everything that happened, piece together every puzzle. We can intellectualize what we experience, explain what has happened, and how necessary it was for Jesus to do this to save us. We can persecute ourselves; take responsibility for what has happened, add our voices to the ones that cry for Barabbas. However, I think the most important think is to be present to this experience and ponder the meanings in our hearts, both together and individually. This is journey is our journey, one Christ leads us on, not only understand His depth of Love and commitment, but to understand ourselves and where we are better.

In my opinion, our walk with Jesus is one where we can see first hand the depth that he identified with us. By sharing his celebration of Palm Sunday, we can share our celebrations with Christ. By sharing his meal on Thursday night, we can share our meals with Christ. By sharing his doubt and despair and darkness of the garden, we can share our doubt and despair. By sharing his condemnation, his suffering and death, we can share the ways we feel condemned, our suffering, the deaths that thrust themselves into our lives. As we walk through this journey of Holy Week, we continue our journey with Jesus. This is not a road to take shortcuts from, but a path where we should ponder every step we take with Jesus. When we walk with Jesus, we find our true selves, our best selves. Our journey today will end in silence, in quiet, for this is not a normal day. Our journey, our walk with Jesus, ends today with a tomb. One week from today, it will begin with a tomb.

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