Homily for the Palm Sunday - Year A  -  Mt. 21:1-11
 
 
by
 
Canon Dr. Daniel Meynen
 
 
 
" When Jesus and his disciples drew near to Jerusalem and came to Beth'phage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, «Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find an ass tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me.  If any one says anything to you, you shall say, "The Lord has need of them," and he will send them immediately.»  This took place to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet, saying, "Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass." (Zech. 9:9)
 
" The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them;  they brought the ass and the colt, and put their garments on them, and he sat thereon.  Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.  And the crowds that went before him and that followed him shouted, «Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!»
 
" And when he entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, «Who is this?»  And the crowds said, «This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee.» "

 
Homily:
 
 
" When Jesus and his disciples drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, «Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find an ass tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me.  If any one says anything to you, you shall say, "The Lord has need of them," and he will send them immediately.» "
 
Today is the triumphal entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem:  the Lord of the Universe is welcomed by his People, whom he chose in order for his glory to shine forth throughout the whole world!  For, every year without fail, for nearly twenty centuries, the Church has commemorated this triumphal welcome given to Jesus by his People;  always, at all times, the Church has made the following words of the Jewish People her own:  "Hosanna to the Son of David!"
 
" This took place to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet, saying, "Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass." (Zech. 9:9) "
 
The New Covenant in the Blood of Christ doesn't abolish the Covenant God had contracted with his People:  the New Covenant brings to fullness the Old Covenant through which the Lord had begun, in an irrevocable manner, the Revelation of himself through faith.  However, the fullness Christ brings is also a conclusion and an end.  This is why, through the New Covenant, the observances of the Former Law come to an end:  now the new rite takes their place.
 
It is in this spirit that Saint Matthew reminds us that the prophet Zechariah had announced this triumphal entrance of the Messiah, who comes to his People riding upon the foal of an ass.  Let us read the words of the Prophet:  "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem:  behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass." (Zech. 9:9)
 
Jerusalem is the figure of the celestial city, the City of the Great King, that was seen by Saint John when he said:  "I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." (Rev. 21:2)  Jerusalem represents the Church:  the men and women, all the souls the Lord wants to lead into Heaven, through his Spirit, in order to make them his spouses for eternity!
 
" The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them;  they brought the ass and the colt, and put their garments on them, and he sat thereon.  Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.  And the crowds that went before him and that followed him shouted, «Hosanna to the Son of David!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!» "
 
It is truly the spousal Love of Christ that triumphs on this day of joy!  "Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek..." (Zech. 9:9 in Mt. 21:5)  The Lord came to Jerusalem;  he will return in the end times in order to enter, with his Church, the New Jerusalem!  Then, full of tenderness for his elect, Jesus, the Son of God, will say:  "Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." (Mt. 25:34)  It is the Love of God that calls us to follow Christ, in order to share in his glory and his triumph without end:  the Love of God calls us to love!  The Jews, the contemporaries of Jesus, demonstrated their love by crying:  "Hosanna to the son of David!"
 
Love asks us to respond to him with love.  But this response of love must be constantly renewed through all the acts of our life:  all our actions must be acts of love of God;  at least, our intention must be such.  Otherwise, if we are not careful to awaken this love of God that we have in us, then one day, when the hour of our trial is at hand, we run the risk of succumbing:  our love, which we should give to the Creator, would unfortunately be given by us to creatures...  Thus, after Palm Sunday and the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, comes Good Friday, the day on which many Jews, who had previously shouted:  "Hosanna to the Son of David!", lamentably insulted the Lord by preferring a thief and a bandit:  "Barabbas!" (Jn. 18:40)
 
Let us be watchful and pray...  Let us wait in faith and with love for the Lord who comes, "full of tenderness"...  Let us celebrate together this eucharistic celebration with a great faith and with limitless confidence in he who comes in the Name of the Lord!  May Mary help us to persevere until the end in faith and in love for her divine Son!
 

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