Homily for the Commemoration of the Lord’s Entrance into Jerusalem on the Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion
Preached on March 28, 2010 at Holy Spirit Parish/The Newman Center at the University of Kentucky, Lexington KY
Readings: Luke 19:28-40; Isaiah 50:4-7; Psalm 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24; Philippians 2:6-11; Luke 22:14-23:56
Following Jesus is going to bring us places. It brought Teresa to the slums of Calcutta, Damien to the leper colony of Molokai, Francis Xavier to the farthest coast of the Far East. It brought fishermen away from the shore of Galilee (cf. Lk. 5:11), a tax collector from the customs post (cf. Lk. 5:27-28), a publican from up a sycamore tree (cf. Lk. 19:5-6). Following Jesus means going from one place to another, taking a journey—sometimes forty days long—that will change our lives forever.
Following Jesus will bring us also to Jerusalem, the city of David where loud Hosannas ring (cf. Mt. 21:9), the same place where a disciple sells the Master for cash (cf. Mt. 26:14-16) and another denies Him for fear of getting credit as His follower (cf. Lk. 22:56-60). It will bring us before a judgment seat (cf. Lk. 23: 1-5, 24-25), through streets filled with weeping women (cf. Lk. 23:27), and up a place called the Skull (Lk. 23:33). Following Jesus is going to bring us places we would rather not go to: places of pain and sorrow, loss and loneliness, trials and betrayals. Part of the journey is not going to be pleasant. Yet, be assured of this: Jesus will carry us through from the beginning to the bitter week’s end and then onwards to a place where no eye has seen nor ear has heard, to what God has prepared to those who love and follow Him (cf. 1 Cor. 2:9).
The gates of Jerusalem beckon us now. Even as we see Calvary on the horizon, let us go and follow Jesus who alone will lead us from this earth’s dark corner to the dazzling courts of the city of God!