Fr Thomas’ Reflection for Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord

Don’t Park Your Religion, Enter the Kingdom of God

When the downtrodden and the persecuted soar, their stories bring about great hope and joy. Through the passion narratives of the Gospel, we can see that Jesus whom they tried to kill in a very shameful way is in fact the true life giver.

Jesus who entered Jerusalem, riding on a donkey through the eastern gate of the city showed the folly of the common belief of the time. Many thought the Messiah would be coming from the east as warrior king to the city of Jerusalem, the centre of religion for the Jews. But Jesus mounted on a donkey, the symbol of peace, and made a royal entry fitting for a ruler to the shouts of joy.

During the trial, Jesus revealed his divinity to the people around him who looked at him as a criminal. The more they tried to put down the life of Jesus, the greater was the fulfilment of the scriptures and prophesies. Thus when the worldly people thought things were going their way, ironically God’s plan was being realised.

At the end of the passion narrative, we hear the centurion, a gentile, professing that Jesus is “indeed the Son of God”. Thus the Gospel reveals that the Kingdom of God is now open to the gentile world. It is no more a monopoly of the Israelites. Another irony is that the Israelites as a rule has lost the Kingdom and the People of Faith from outside the confines of Israel has won the Kingdom big time.

In Jesus we see how God works in our lives. By showing God in the human person of Jesus we are invited to see the divine in the human life we all share. Persecution, rejection, and condemnation may seem to diminish the meaning of life and sense of hope, but looking through the prism of the passion of Jesus, you see how God turns your miseries into means living your life fuller. Therefore don’t be downcast when others condemn you and try to make your life miserable. Keep up your passion for the Word of God and walk the way of the cross. Don’t ever think of parking your life or religion. If you do, you don’t get anywhere. But move on, looking at our Saviour who turned the shame of cross into a sign of glory.  Live your life to a fuller measure and enter the Kingdom of God.