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Homily - Mar 24, 24

PALM SUNDAY (March 24, 2024) Yr. B:

Is 50:4-7; Phil 2:6-11; (Gospel for Procession: Mk 11:1-10; Holy Mass Gospel: Mk 14:1--15:47

Introduction: The Church celebrates this Sixth Sunday in Lent as both Palm Sunday and Passion Sunday. It is on Palm Sunday that we enter Holy Week, welcoming Jesus into our lives and asking Him to allow us a share in His suffering, death, and Resurrection. This is the time of the year when we stop to remember and relive the events which brought about our redemption and salvation. These liturgies enable us to experience in our lives here and now what Jesus went through then. In other words, what we commemorate and relive during this week is not just Jesus’ dying and rising, but our own lifetime of dying and rising in Him, which result in our healing, reconciliation, and redemption. Just as Jesus did, we, too,

must lay down our lives freely by actively participating in the Holy Week liturgies.

Life Message: Are you a donkey with a Christian name only, or one carrying Christ? An interesting as well as challenging old fable tells of the colt that carried Jesus on Palm Sunday. The colt thought that the reception was organized to honor him. “I am a unique donkey!” this excited animal might have thought. When he asked his mother if he could walk down the same street alone the next day and be honored again, his mother said, “No, you are nothing without Him who was riding you." Five days later, the colt saw a huge crowd of people in the street. It was Good Friday, and the soldiers were taking Jesus to

Calvary. The colt could not resist the temptation of another royal reception. Ignoring the warning of his mother, he ran to the street, but he had to flee for his life as soldiers chased him, and people stoned him. Thus, the colt finally learned the lesson that he was only a poor donkey without Jesus to ride on him. -- As we enter Holy Week, today’s readings challenge us to examine our lives to see whether we carry Jesus within us and bear witness to Him through our living or are Christians in name only.

Conclusion: On Palm Sunday, we need, therefore, to ask ourselves the following six questions, and examine our conscience: 1) Does Jesus weep over me? There is a Jewish saying, “Heaven rejoices over a repentant sinner and sheds tears over a non-repentant, hardhearted one." Are we ready to imitate the prodigal son and return to God, our loving Father, through the Sacrament of Reconciliation during this last week of Lent and participate fully in the joy of Christ’s Resurrection? 2) Am I a barren fig tree? God expects me to produce fruits of holiness, purity, justice, humility, obedience, charity, and forgiveness. Do I? Or, worse, do I continue to produce bitter fruits of impurity, injustice, pride, hatred, jealousy, and selfishness? 3) Will Jesus need to cleanse my heart with His whip? Jesus cannot tolerate the desecration of the temple of the Holy Spirit that I have become by my addiction to uncharitable, unjust, and impure thoughts words and deeds; nor does Jesus praise my business mentality or calculation of loss and gain in my relationship with God, my Heavenly Father. Consequently, as we "carry Jesus" to the world, we may receive the same welcome that Jesus received on Palm Sunday, but we may also meet the same opposition, crosses, and trials later. Like the donkey, we are called upon to carry Christ to a world that does not know Him. Let us always remember that a Christian without Christ is a contradiction in terms. Such a one betrays the Christian message. Hence, let us become transparent Christians during this Holy Week, enabling others to see in us Jesus’ universal love, unconditional forgiveness, and sacrificial service.


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