We are Worthy to be Saved in God’s Merciful Eyes

Palm Sunday (Year A)
By Fr. Chinnappan Pelavendran

The readings today remind us of the passion, crucifixion, and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah, and the savior of the world. It reminds us of God’s love for us. Yet, our sinfulness makes us unworthy of that perfect love. So He sent His only begotten Son to redeem us by His passion, crucifixion, and death.

We have just said we are unworthy of God’s love because we have sinned, again and again, against Him, our loving Father. So why can’t He just leave us alone? This is the paradox of love. You and I are WORTHY TO BE SAVED in God’s merciful eyes!

So He sent His only Son Jesus to suffer and die so that we may be saved through Him. Yet, as we read and re-read the gospel passage on the passion, crucifixion, and death of Jesus, we see the same pattern of the response of the people then and the people now. Many people then denied, rejected, and brutally opposed the offer of salvation. Many people do the same things now. Let us pray and pray harder for the conversion of the people who continue to crucify Jesus, now by their frequent rejection of the Son of God.

Jesus has suffered and died but it was not the end. The last verse in the gospel reading today tells us that they “secured the tomb by fixing a seal to the stone and assigning a guard.” Jesus rose from the dead on the third day. This is the source of our hope. This is the reason why we keep on reading and reflecting on the passion, crucifixion, and death of our Lord. The forces of darkness may have sealed a tomb but the victory of the Light has been seen in the Resurrection.

On the first day of the “Holy Week,” we commemorate the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. The people removed their cloaks, waved palms, and sang hosannas while Jesus, riding on a donkey, passed by. Removing our clothes is a symbolic act of surrender to the Lord. It is a way of becoming open, confessing our sins, and accepting His offer of salvation. No more, disguise. No more resistance. On the other hand, the palm has been a traditional symbol of victory and rejoicing. (Leviticus 23:40) Thus by laying palms on the path of Jesus, the people acknowledged that in Jesus, there is victory. The donkey is an animal of peace. By riding on a donkey, Jesus showed that He is the prince of peace.

Let us pray that as we come in the name of the Lord, He may shower us with His blessings. May we continue to journey with Jesus, allowing Him to fill our hearts with hope, love, and peace so that we can become an instrument of hope and love to others and peace to all the earth.

Let us weep over our sins and remember that God will always forgive us. We need to welcome Jesus into our hearts in a special way during Holy Week. We can be like the prodigal son and God like his father. We need to love and ask God to strengthen our weaknesses. With God in our hearts, we can do anything.

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