Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, Year A – Homily

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, Year A
Matthew 21:1-11
Isaiah 50:4-7
Psalm 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24 (2a)
Philippians 2:6-11
Matthew 26:14 – 27:66
April 2, 2023

Today we start Holy Week.  It is called holy because it contains the most important events that have ever happened.  These are the events that make our salvation possible. 

It starts with Jesus receiving a joyous welcome as cloaks are laid on the road and they wave branches from the trees.

The prophecies of the coming Messiah are fulfilled in the events of this week, like Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem “riding on an ass, and on a colt.” 

As it began, his disciples showed a strong faith.  When Jesus tells them to obtain the ass and the colt, “The disciples went and did as Jesus had ordered them.”  When He told them where to prepare for the Passover, “The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered.”  They do not question.  They simply do.

As it begins to unfold, Jesus knows his “appointed time draws near.”  Imagine being Jesus and knowing all that was going to happen.

 He fulfilled what Isaiah said, “The Lord God has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to preach to the weary.

In the coming events of his Passion, He knows He will fulfill the words we hear from Isaiah, “I gave my back to those who beat me…my face I did not shield from buffets and spitting.”  Likewise, what we hear in Psalm 22 of how the Messiah will be mocked, his hands and feet pierced, his garments divided, all these things are fulfilled in Jesus.

Jesus is the Son of God.  He had been with God but He willingly “emptied himself…humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death.”  Would you have done the same?

Jesus knew everything that was going to happen and He accepted it to save us.  It was not easy.

He knew one of his disciples would betray him.  He even knew it would be Judas but He did nothing to stop him, even saying to Judas, “Friend, do what you have come for.

He knew his blood would shed for us “for the forgiveness of our sins.”  He submitted himself to it so our sins would be forgiven.

He knew that the faith of his disciples that seemed strong as they entered Jerusalem would be shaken and told them so.  Peter said that he would not deny Jesus.  I wonder if Jesus wept at Peter’s words, knowing that Peter would deny him.?

Jesus willingly accepted his Passion but that doesn’t mean it was easy for him.  He knew the good it would accomplish for us but still in the garden He prayed three times, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will but as you will.

Do we persevere in our suffering?

Or are we like Peter, James, and John who couldn’t even keep watch for one hour before they fell asleep?  How we are you from your suffering?

Jesus knew it was time.  He was betrayed with a kiss.  What should have been a sign of affection became a sign of betrayal.  I wonder if Jesus wept for Judas as he betrayed him.

This was God’s plan all along as foretold through the prophets.

As He is arrested, Jesus’ disciples fled.  It was the chief priests and entire Sanhedrin who should have rejoiced at Jesus as the Messiah who “kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus.”  I wonder if Jesus wept for them.

Peter did indeed deny Jesus three times.  When Peter realized this, “he went out and began to weep bitterly,” a sign of his sorrow for his sin.  Peter repents.

Even Judas shows repentance as he “deeply regretted what he had done.

Do you regret your sins?  Do you repent?  Do you return to Jesus?

There was a custom on the feast for the governor to realize one prisoner.  The governor gave them a choice of Barabbas or Jesus.  The people chose Barabbas. O, how Jesus must have wept!

He was stripped of his garments, mocked with a crown of thorns, and spat upon. 

He did not choose to save himself from this.  Instead, He chose to endure his Passion.  Why?

For us!  So that we might be saved!

Thank you Jesus.


  1. Thomas House on 04/02/2023 at 12:03 pm

    Thank you, Jesus, for giving yourself for our sins.

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