April 13, 2019

Palm Sunday - C (April 14, 2019)

The King Who Died the Death of a Slave

The readings for the celebration of Palm Sunday call us to the mystery of God’s salvation.  Out of love, the Son of God who is a king, came to live among us.  He died the death of a slave to set us free from slavery to sins and death.  In this way, the Son of God makes us now all children of God. 

The Gospel for the Palm Sunday procession draws our attention to Jesus’ kingship.  The people of Jerusalem recognize Jesus as the King promised by God through Scriptures.  Luke refers to two details in Zechariah on the kingship of the Messiah – that Jesus enters city from the direction of Mount of Olives and he does so riding on a colt [1].  And the people’s acclamation “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord” is actually a quote of Psalm 118:26 [2]. 

This king is not just any king.  “Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, … emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; he humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (2nd reading, Philippians 2). 

[1] “On that day God’s feet will stand on the Mount of Olives” (Zechariah 14:4) and
“Your king is coming to you, a just savior is he, humble, and riding on a donkey, on a colt” (Zechariah 9:9)

Image source:  www.agnusday.org

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