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KING OF GLORY, KING IN AGONY

PALM SUNDAY OF THE LORD’S PASSION

More than any other occasion in the Christian calendar, this Holy Week gives us a focused and intense gaze on the face of Jesus. Who is Jesus? He is king, our king!

JESUS IS THE KING OF GLORY

His target place is Jerusalem, the Holy City of God. And Jesus literally “goes up” to Jerusalem since it is a high place. Going up, he is surrounded by his disciples and followers who already accept him as king of their lives. There are elements that show how Jesus wish to reveal himself as king in Jerusalem.

First, he comes riding a donkey on which no one has before sat on. It is the right of ancient kings to demand their transport and further to be the first to use an animal for transportation. But Jesus’ choice of animal is not at all grand, but a donkey. In this way, he is the king of peace, king of simplicity and king of the poor.

Second, we notice the words of greeting people use: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna! These are words we use at Mass every day, words we use in the procession of palms. But do you know what Hosanna means? In the beginning, it was a petition, a cry for help when there is no rain: Lord, come to our aid! Later, it became a cry of praise and jubilation connected to the hope that the Messiah will come soon. When they sang these words to Jesus, the people looked on him as the One sent to save them and to restore the Kingdom of God in their midst.

Try thinking of this when you sing it again at Mass today and in the coming days. It will make a difference now that we know what it means.

KING IN AGONY

Our glorious procession is followed by the somber encounter with the details of the passion and death of the Lord. There is no more chilling, more nerve-wracking, tearful episode in all of God’s word than these accounts of God in pain. But here too, we see Jesus in his calm assurance of his kingship. Dying on the cross, Jesus reveals to us another aspect of his power.

On the Cross, Jesus is the King who conquers hatred, rejection and all evil by the power of love. They called him King of the Jews, King of Israel. But he really was the King of the world, the only one who brought reconciliation between God and humanity. As calmly as he assumed kingship in glory, so did Jesus embrace his power in the midst of pain and agony.

KING OF MY LIFE

Is Jesus the King of my life? Do I offer to him my success and victory? Do I also surrender myself to him when things breakdown, when I am in pain? I trust that he alone can truly reign in me in all these moments of my life.