Let us not be shaken, but trust always in His compassion
Reflections on the readings for Palm Sunday (April 5, 2020): MT 21:1-11; IS 50:4-7; PS 22:8-9,17-18,19-20,23-24; PHIL 2:6-11; MT 26:14–27:66
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days
The Gospel for this Palm Sunday traditionally recounts the final hours of Jesus life on earth.
Today we hear about the preparations Christ made for His last Passover meal, the Last Supper that He would share with His Apostles. He let them know that the appointed time had finally come, although they clearly did not understand Him. After they ate together and Jesus offered the first Eucharist, they went on their way to the Garden of Gethsemane. “Then Jesus said to them, ‘This night all of you will have your faith in Me shaken, for it is written: I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be dispersed; but after I have been raised up I shall go before you to Galilee.’ Peter said to Him in reply, ‘Though all may have their faith in You shaken, mine will never be.’… And all the disciples spoke likewise” (Matthew 26:31-33, 35).
Christ told His Apostles that He would be betrayed. He shared with them His own Body and Blood. And He warned them that their faith would be shaken. But still they did not grasp what His words meant to them – or to the world. Peter promised to stay faithful, yet he would not be. Jesus told Peter that he would, in fact, deny Him. Though Peter failed, again and again and again, unlike Judas the betrayer, Peter the denier wept with contrition and was forgiven. We sometimes forget that the other Apostles agreed with Peter that they, too, would staunchly stand by Jesus. But, with the exception of John, they all ran away. However, they also came back and entrusted themselves to the will of God – just as Jesus did. And in time, they too would lay down their lives for their faith in Christ. Our Savior will always welcome us back as long as we repent our sins and embrace His mercy.
Suggested missionary action: On this Palm Sunday, we need to contemplate what it means to keep faith with our Lord and His people. Let us resolve to follow His way, not in a triumphal entry to Jerusalem, but in our own communities, as we can, whatever the cost.