Palm Sunday – Homily (Msgr. LoPinto)

We’ve come together celebrating the beginning of Holy Week with the entrance of Jesus into the city of Jerusalem.

It is in many ways a triumphal entry, an entry that is very reminiscent of an earlier event captured back in the days of King David.

David had grown very old and it was the time for succession.

And one of his sons had gone down to Hebron and gathered some of the leaders together there that they might proclaim him king.

And the prophet Nathan and his wife come to him, Bathsheba.

And they say to him, Did you know what is going on?

And David says no. And then Bathsheba says to him.

But do you remember that you promised that my son Solomon would become your successor?

And David says, yes, that is my intent.

And so he says to the court, get Solomon, go to the gates of the city.

There you will find a colt, mount him on the colt and bring him triumphantly into the city, proclaiming that he is the king of Israel.

When you hear the description that is provided here with Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem, it is certainly very clear that the people were recalling that event and they were recalling it because they saw Jesus as coming into their midst.

As the new king of Israel, well, one could imagine all of in a sense, the excitement that was there in that event.

But one also could imagine. The reaction of the Romans and those who had, in a sense, arranged a condition of coexistence with the Romans.

Here, the people were basically proclaiming a new king.

And certainly if there was to be a new king, then there had to be a revolution that would come and that revolution.

Would be costly in many different ways. But most especially, it would unseat the powers of the day.

And so you have that beautiful scene that recalls then what had to be one of the more.

How could I put it? One of the more eventful moments in that event.

And you see the enthusiasm of the people. The thinking of the people that now.

Now the day of being rid of the Romans is upon us.

As you go forward in the story, you see the tremendous change that takes place in a matter of days.

And this change that takes place in the mind set of the people, where they go from the enthusiasm.

Too, in a sense, the disappointment. And the disappointment opens itself to their being, in a sense manipulated by the powers that be.

We don’t get all the details of what went on in between. But it’s very clear that there is a very real change.

You might say that the story of the Lord’s Passion is a story of the inconsistency of the human.

Vs. the consistency of God. And in that sense, it’s a summary of human history.

Because in a sense, we’re all on the side of the inconsistency.

And the inconsistency often arises. Out of a lack of trust.

A lack of trust, which hopefully is born of a relationship of love.

And so what you see in this story is, again, how we are manipulated.

Manipulated by the devil. Manipulated by the devil to not trust.

To be skeptical. When I was in the seminary, I had a very, very good rector who was the leader of the seminary and we had a very good relationship.

And I remember we were standing out in front of main doors of the seminary and we were looking up and it was absolutely beautiful, a clear blue sky.

And he looked at me and he said. I know you well enough.

But probably you’re going to tell me, as I tell you how beautiful the sky is.

You’re going to tell me. Oh, but look, there’s the cloud. Because he said that your nature.

But it’s all of our natures. It’s all of our natures.

We tend to see. And to be skeptical and because we tend to see and be skeptical, we find it hard to trust.

As you see the story. It’s a story of not trusting the people did not trust.

And so as it goes forward, you see the contrast.

The contrast of the Lord even coming in to the grips of that human reality.

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Right there. The depth of the humanness.

But the humanness is overcome. The humanness is overcome.

By the divinity. Well, he was truly the word of God.

He was truly, as the centurion says, the son of God.

And so he had a relationship with the father born of the Holy Spirit, a relationship of such intense love.

But he knew that despite the agony of the cross.

Despite the pain and the suffering, despite the rejection.

The father would not turn away from him.

That he would be preserved and that he would be raised.

And not only that, he would be raised. Not the significance of those words of when he freely gave up his spirit.

The curtain in the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom.

The curtain in the sanctuary was sacred. Four.

It symbolized. The separation between God and the people.

Only once a year could the high priest go in.

Penetrate the curtain and go in to offer sacrifice to God.

Point in the gospel, in the story of The Passion.

Is that the true or high priest? The true high priest.

Enters the holy of holies, the presence of God.

And he does it for all time. Literally, he brings us with him.

To live forever in the presence of God.

To be free. And to experience that freedom.

Because we are incased. In the love of God.

My brothers and sisters. Holy Week is a unique opportunity.

It is an opportunity for us to delve into.

The very mystery of life. To delve into it.

And as his holiness Pope Francis said this morning, to be amazed.

To be amazed at the love of God for us and how that love sustains us.

Despite despite all the difficulties, all the tragedies, all the pandemics, all the wars.

Despite the death that each and every one of us, whether we admit it or not, lives in fear of.

At the end. At least the way we perceive it.

At the Feast of the Lord’s Passion and Death tells us.

That the end is not the end. For there is a much greater future ahead of us.

A future of being eternally with God.

And so the Lord invites us, invites us to trust, to put aside our skepticism, to put aside our disbelief,

to put aside all of the blackness that so often encompasses or in cases us and to live in the light.

The light of the risen Christ. But to get there.

We must journey. Very much a journey through life with its ups and downs.

In order to get beyond the ups and downs to the greatest up that anyone could ever imagine, the Up of living in God’s presence for all eternity.