April 20, 2022
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Palm Sunday: Seeing Reality with the Eyes of God

Palm Sunday: Seeing Reality with the Eyes of God

Christ's Entry into Jerusalem by Hippolyte Flandrin c. 1842

This is hardly the first time we heard the reading of the Passion narrative on Palm Sunday.

Is the shock wearing off?

After all, we hang the Crucifix anywhere we intend to find signs of his love; we even wear it around our neck.

However, even if, by now, the shock wears thin perhaps because we emphasize the divinity of Christ over his humanity, there should be enough sorrow for us to wonder if there is anyway we could ease such horrific and prolonged agony.

As a matter of fact there is; and this is the main reason why the Church keeps turning Palm Sunday into a day marked by distinct peculiarities. 

Intentionally she contrasts the triumphant cheers and hosannas of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem with the shouts of “crucify him, crucify him” uttered, perhaps, by the very same people.

This contrast is the story of our life: the modest acclamation of Jesus as our divine Master here in church might be followed by an embarrassing mixture of selfishness, broken promises, lackluster performance during the week. 

The contrast, perhaps, is not that clear and striking to us. We see ourselves as decent people, as Catholics in good standing. Indeed we are good people.

The Church, though, would like us to see reality with the eyes of God, at least on this day, Palm Sunday.

In the eyes of God sin is sin, is sin. 

From the biggest to the slightest, any sin is an affront to His majesty and a self-inflicted wound undermining the soul slowly, even imperceptibly, or quite aggressively with a frontal, mortal attack. 

Any sin, big and small alike, has also uncontrollable, horrific consequences affecting even the most innocent of children.

Therefore, the traces of shock still lingering after today’s reading of the Passion narrative should suffice to help us resolve, with distinct decisiveness, to do two things.

To look at any sin with God’s eyes, counting on His grace to resist even the fiercest temptations.

And to keep the eyes and the ears of our heart wide open before the pain that we witness all around ourselves; it is the pain which the Body of Christ endures around the clock.

We should not forget that a part of it is, for sure, the result of our sins, and we should ask the Lord to tell us what we are expected to do to alleviate it.

If, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can work hard and with a good inner disposition on these two fronts we will live a profitable Holy Week and we will increase our hope in the share of glory that Jesus, our Lord, has reserved for each one of us. 

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Written by
Fr Dino Vanin