- The Abbey of the Genesee - http://www.geneseeabbey.org -

April 9, 2017

Fr. John Denburger, OCSO [1]

Palm Sunday
Isaiah 50: 4 – 7; Ps 22; Phil 2: 8 -9; Matthew 26: 14 – 27: 66

St. Luke, alone of the four Evangelists, records the words of the twelve year old Jesus to Mary and Joseph, “Did you not know that I had to be in my Father’s house?” and the final words of Jesus on the cross, “Father, into Your hands I commend my Spirit.” When asked by His disciples, “Lord, teach us to pray…He said, When you pray, say, ‘Father…’.” His words “My Father and Father” capture something of the mystery of Jesus’ person; His whole life, His very being is centered on His Father…and we also can say on our Father.

In listening to the account of Jesus’ passion we have heard the greatest sermon He ever gave, we can say in all truth, the sermon of His very life, the life He laid down for each one of us. On one occasion Jesus proclaimed, “I solemnly assure you, the Son cannot do anything by Himself – He can do only what He sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise.” (John 5: 19)

Here is something to ponder: In His passion, His crucifixion, in the total agony of His person, in giving Himself up willingly for your/my salvation – what did he see the Father doing? Could that not be a prayer, an important, very personal prayer, not only on this Palm Sunday but also during these days of Holy Week? Lord Jesus, reveal to me the one you and I call “Father”.

Surely, it is the love of the Father that directs Jesus’ every word and action. No doubt! But simply to state that is not enough; for us as sons and daughters of this Father, it is necessary to ponder the depth, the extent, the passion, the faithfulness of His love – the words of Psalm 34 come to mind, “Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.”

Jesus, speaking of His death, proclaimed, “…and I – once I am lifted up from earth – will draw all to Myself.” (John 12: 32)The Lord Jesus’ promise – and the promise of our Father as well – and for us here, more than a promise – it is reality. On this Sunday of the Passion, Palm Sunday – we have been drawn here – have we not? “…and I – once I am lifted up from earth – will draw all to Myself.”