The gospel reading on Palm Sunday -- also called Passion Sunday -- is powerful. We journey with Jesus from the Last Supper to the Cross.
And we don’t just hear the account of Christ’s Passion from the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 26. We are participants. Speakers -- the priest, the deacon, other readers, and the entire congregation -- have a role.
This really brings home the incredible, unimaginable events of 2,000 years ago.
We were there, as the procession began Mass, singing “Hosanna!” -- echoing Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalam, heralded like royalty. Hailed as a prophet, He was greeted with joy, songs, chants, and waving branches.
Each week, during Mass, we’re there to hear His words, seek His teaching.
We are there, as Jesus breaks bread with His disciples for the Passover meal. We question, with the disciples, “Is it I, Lord?” as He reveals someone will betray Him.
We are there, as Peter denies Him, speaking the words, “You, too, are one of them.”
And we are not silent witnesses to Pilate’s sentencing of Jesus.
We are in the crowd, among the rabble, shouting, “Crucify Him!”
As the crowds did centuries ago, we call for His death.
We crucify Him.
Each time we walk away from His teachings, each time we choose actions or words that take us away from the path toward eternal life with Him, we crucify Him.
And yet, He still speaks from the Cross, as He did those long years ago: “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
And we are forgiven. And forgiven again.
The sacrificial Lamb, the scapegoat, takes on our sins, and opens the doors of eternity for us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace.
Join the parish of St. Ann’s next Sunday, as we celebrate the rest of “the greatest story ever told.”