Holy week – 1. Palm Sunday

  • First Reading: Isaiah 50:4-7
  • Responsorial Psalm: Ps 21
  • Second Reading: Philippians 2:6-11
  • Gospel: Matthew 26:14-27:66

This Sunday we remember Jesus as He makes His entrance in Jerusalem, the Holy City.

The crowd is overjoyed to see Him: they lay down their cloaks on the ground and wave branches of palm to welcome Him.
The air is filled with shouts of joy, and the Scriptures are fulfilled:

“Shout with gladness, daughter of Jerusalem!
See now, your king comes to you;
He is victorious, he is triumphant,
Humble and riding on a donkey” (Zc 9:9)

This is our king, meek and humble as no king has ever been. And so, Jerusalem opens its gates to Jesus, acclaimed as the Son of David, God’s promise for the people of Israel, the One who He Himself has sent.

O gates, lift high your heads; grow higher, ancient doors, let Him enter, the king of glory” (Ps 23:7)

These ancient doors are opened wide for Him. Jesus’ entrance in Jerusalem definitely seals His own commitment for our salvation.
He will not turn back, He will not change His mind, because His love for us is unchangeable. He will not go through those gates again. He choses to have them closed behind Him. He will find suffering and death in that place He loves so much.

He will soon listen to that same crowd crying aloud “Crucify him!”, instead of “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord”. That same people will turn against Him, misled by Chief Priests. One of His dearest friends will betray Him, while the other ones will abandon Him and run away.

This Sunday seals the beginning of the Holy Week: infact, during the Mass, the Gospel of Jesus’ Passion is read as well.

What an unusual Holy Week we are about to live this year! There are no public celebrations, no gatherings, and each of us is going to spend it at home. But nothing can separate us from God’s presence. We still have the chance to live this Holy Week in a profound way: are you ready?

Get ready to go through those gates with Jesus, to enter in Jerusalem, amid the crowd waving palm branches. Try to make your way through the people and follow Jesus with your gaze: look at what He does, listen to the sound of His voice, how He speaks, feel His breath, His tiredness, His sorrow, His sufferings. Stand up under the cross, beside Mary and John, hold His sweetest body in your arms, and try to remember the road that leads to the sepulchre. Listen to the silence of that terrible night, where all the hopes of humankind are closed in the darkness of His tomb, sealed with a stone.

If you want to live this Holy Week in this way, we suggest you to take the Bible every day and read a passage of Jesus’ Passion. Meditate over it, pray, try to get into these scenes. Try to stay close to Jesus, don’t lose sight of His eyes: where is He looking at? What is He doing? Fix your eyes on Him.

Do you want to start this journey with Him? Shall you pass through the gates? We obviously cannot go back to two thousand years ago… so which kind of gates are we talking about?

O gates, lift high your heads; grow higher, ancient doors, let Him enter, the king of glory” (Ps 23:7)

There are other gates that our Lord Jesus, the king of glory, wishes to enter through today. If you want, you can open the gates of your heart, of your soul, and let Him enter. He will not change His mind, He will not turn back to get out. Let Him enter, the king of glory, Jesus, your Saviour. Let Him speak to you, let Him tell you about His passion, let Him show you why did He face all these sufferings for you: He has already opened the gates of His heart for you.

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