What is the meaning of Palm Sunday?
Perhaps some of us would respond: “This is the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.” Yes, this is historical fact! Yet, beyond that descriptive and simple response, let us go deeper.
Benedict XVI helps us to understand the connection between the greatest miracle of Jesus, the Resurrection of Lazarus and the mystery of His own death and resurrection (Holy Week):
“On the fifth Sunday, when the resurrection of Lazarus is proclaimed, we are faced with the ultimate mystery of our existence: “I am the resurrection and the life… Do you believe this?” (Jn11: 25-26).
For the Christian community, it is the moment to place with sincerity – together with Martha – all of our hopes in Jesus of Nazareth: “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into this world” (Jn 11: 27).
Faith in the resurrection of the dead and hope in eternal life opens our eyes to the ultimate meaning of our existence: God created men and women for resurrection and life, and this truth gives an authentic and definitive meaning to human history, to the personal and social lives of men and women, to culture, politics and the economy. Without the light of faith, the entire universe remains shut within a tomb devoid of any future, any hope.
The Lenten journey finds its fulfillment in the Paschal Triduum, especially in the Great Vigil of the Holy Night: renewing our baptismal promises, we reaffirm that Christ is the Lord of our life, that life which God bestowed upon us when we were reborn of “water and Holy Spirit”, and we profess again our firm commitment to respond to the action of the Grace in order to be his disciples.”
Pope Francis helps us to understand the meaning of Palm Sunday:
“Today’s liturgy teaches us that the Lord has not saved us by His triumphal entry or by means of powerful miracles (…) He did not cling to the glory that was His as the Son of God, but became the Son of man in order to be in solidarity with us sinners in all things; yet He was without sin. Even more, He lived among us in “the condition of a servant” (v. 7); not of a king or a prince, but of a servant.
Therefore He humbled Himself, and the abyss of His humiliation, as Holy Week shows us, seems to be bottomless.”