Welcome the King…
Palm Sunday marks an important event in our Liturgical year, Christ fulfilling the Old Testament prophecies:
They took palm branches and went out to meet him, and cried out: “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, (even) the king of Israel.” -John 12:13, NAB
Christ came into the city and received a king’s welcome. Less than a week later, they hung Him from the cross. It is the ugly truth of our Christian faith.
For many of us, we have accepted Christ as the King of our lives. We have publicly devoted our lives to Him and pledged our allegiances to Him. Yet, behind closed doors, have we truly lived up to this? Are we faithful subjects to the King of Kings? Or, like the earliest followers of Jesus, have we turned our back on Him? In what ways have we helped nail Him to the cross?
Many of us have already entered into celebratory mode as Easter approaches, but let us not forget that the season of Lent is a season of sacrifice and penance. It is a time to reflect on our mistakes and make the corrections necessary to not make those mistakes again. In one week, it will be time to celebrate Easter Sunday, but for now, we must continue our Lenten reflections.
As we enter Holy Week, do not think of these special days as times to celebrate, but as times to honor Christ for His sacrifice. Holy Thursday honors the establishment of the Eucharist, a foreshadowing of what was about to happen. Good Friday, we should feel the full sadness of every nail that we have helped pound into the cross. At the Easter Vigil, we must reflect on what the world would be like without Christ in our lives. Finally, on Easter Sunday, our Lenten tears can be wiped away as we celebrate the return of Christ the King!
Make time this week to participate fully in any way that you can. Make time to honor the King of Kings. Just as we make time in our lives to devote at least one hour a week to Mass, we should be willing to do similarly as we give this one week out of the entire year to Christ. Let these most important days of our Liturgical calendar be a time of renewed faith, complete reverance, and total self-giving to our God, the King of Kings, Jesus Christ.