The Sunday of the Passion or “Palm Sunday”

April 14, 2019 at St. Peter & St. William Churches in Naples, Fl

Isaiah 50, 4-7 + Psalm 22 + Philippians 2, 6-11 + Luke 22, 14 to 23, 49

Luke 19, 28-40 At the Beginning of Mass

4:30pm Saturday at St. William

In the Passion account we have just proclaimed, Luke puts before us three crowds of people: a crowd at the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, a crowd in the courtyard with Pilate, and a crowd following Jesus to the site of his crucifixion. Each crowd is different. There are now three days before Lent ends on Holy Thursday. You might reflect Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday about in which crowd you might be found. Each crowd is characterized by an emotion: the first is jubilation, the second angry crowd demanding crucifixion, and the weeping crowd walking the way of the cross. You may notice that this last crowd is the only crowd to which Jesus speaks. Pay attention to how many times the second crowd cries out: “Crucify Him.” Three times. It should connect with something Peter did before the cock crowed.

We must look at where we can be found. Which crowd? Does the Joy of our faith ever show when we’re not in a crowd of believers? Are we complicit bystanders who avoid speaking up when something is wrong? Maybe we simply recognize our weakness and walk with Jesus as a sign of our solidarity?

For just a couple minutes, I want to give you something to think about and ponder through this week we call Holy. You reflect upon it, and with a prayer to the Holy Spirit, you can bring this lent to a fruitful conclusion.

You have to wonder where were those people in the first crowd when the second was shouting for Barabbas. They were all into “Jesus” when he was like a “Rock Star”. They were like a lot of people who can and do quote the Bible, but avoid living it. Their commitment wasn’t very deep or lasting. When it gets hard, they can’t be found. That second crowd just followed the leaders without questioning the demands of their leaders. Were those demands right or wrong? They went with the flow. Then there is a third crowd that Luke identifies as “women.” They can do nothing but be there. They seem to know that presence is the only and most important thing they have to offer.

Father Tom Boyer