Palm Sunday Passion of the Lord (March 25, 2018)

Today we begin the most sacred week of the Christian calendar.

We heard Isaiah’s Servant Song proclaimed to us. The Servant represents the sufferings of the exiled community of ancient Israel in Babylon. In the midst of their suffering, the Servant speaks a word of hope to the community: “The Lord God is my help; therefore I am not disgraced.”

In Mark’s account of the Passion, Jesus’ last words from the Cross are the opening words of Psalm 22: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me”? Jesus was identifying himself with the suffering people of every age. Jesus has taken upon himself the sufferings and sins of every person who will ever live.

In the midst of all his suffering, Jesus knew his Father’s love.

Perhaps his last cry in a loud voice indicated that he was identifying himself with the last words of Psalm 22: “You, O Lord, be not far from me; O my help, hasten to aid me.” Then Jesus breathed his last. We know that his Father heard the voice of his suffering Son – and has greatly exalted him.

Jesus wants each of us to know that he has shared in our sufferings – for he is our brother. He invites us to join our sufferings to His – for the salvation of the world.

Let us be with Jesus, our brother and Savior, during this Holy Week.