HOMILY – Palm Sunday A 2020 “God Will Not Abandon Us” dc. Antonius
Today is Palm Sunday, also known as Passion Sunday.
The commemoration of the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.
The last week of Lent Season and the beginning of the Holy Week.
We’ve just heard a long passage of the Passion narrating days of events that take us from Jesus planning a dinner with his friends, the betrayal, the suffering of crucifixion,
all the way to Jesus’ body being sealed in a tomb, dead.
A lot just happened with a lot of deep emotions.
Traditionally, we start this Sunday Mass with a fanfare and singing, “Hosanna to the King!”, hundreds of worshipers gathering at the Narthex waving the blessed palm leaves as they process into the Church … with jubilation, joy.
Sometimes it seemed a bit chaotic and noisy.
Each year, we come to this same story, and each year we bring to it our hurts,
our sufferings and joys, the stories of our daily life since our last Palm Sunday.
We joined and reconciled them with the story of the Passion, to recognize ourselves.
But this year is different, there is no fanfare, no palms leaves and no crowded Church …
Today the Church is empty and quiet, only a handful of us are here, 9 people all together; and we have to distance ourselves from each other.
And what make it so much different this year is
the whole world is doing the same: hurting, scared, and lost … bent to its knee,
by the same crisis, the outbreak of a deadly corona virus pandemic.
However, the spirit of the Palm Sunday this year is still the same,
the FAITH of the Passion is still the same,
the HOPE of the Paschal Mystery doesn’t change … regardless.
The LOVE and MERCY of God the Father magnify through His Son Jesus never change
The PROMISE of the New COVENANT that God Saves remains …
Because as Jesus said during the Last Supper, when He took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples saying ✠ Take and eat; this is my body.
Then when he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying,
✠ Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant which will be shed for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Jesus is the fulfilment of God’s promise of the NEW and EVERLASTING COVENANT
… His Body and Blood is the seal of the COVENANT.
as He sacrifice and empty himself, obediently to die on the Cross …
and because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
which is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee shall bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
So, my brothers and sisters in Christ,
as we prepare to celebrate this Holy Week … in the quite of our home.
Let us join our prayers and our longing to get back into the full participation in the Eucharistic Mass and to receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament
in communion with our brothers and sisters again.
Let us immerse ourselves into a deeper spiritual reflection of our Lord’s Passion
and the completion of the Paschal Mystery at the Resurrection.
Let this sacrifice that has been put on us due to this pandemic be joined with the unimaginable sufferings of our Lord in His journey to the Calvary.
Let us strive to make this Holy Week as the most life changing encounter with Christ.
Let us walk in a spiritual journey with Christ into the depth of the life we share in God.
We will overcome this pandemic … God will NOT abandon us.
His Love and Mercy endure forever.
That is the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.