Saturday, March 27, 2010

Palm Sunday 2010 - more than just blessing and waving palms

Its upholding truth in facing adversary

Tomorrow is Palm Sunday which marks the beginning of the Holy Week when we would relive the Passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. Palm Sunday commemorates the joyful entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.

When we were children Palm Sunday was a day of excitement,joy and celebration as we witnessed the blessing of palm and the procession that followed. We were happy to wave the palms and many of us took them back to place in our homes and even cars. As children Palm Sunday was all about blessing and waving of palms and nothing more.

Today we are older and after going through the various experiences in life we tend to see Palm Sunday differently. Jesus entered Jerusalem to face his imminent torture and death on the cross which he was well aware of. He took it willingly and placed full trust in God. Jesus was willing to walk the path of truth knowing very well that it is going to cause him immense suffering and death on the cross.

We too are very often asked to bear witness to truth in our daily lives. Are we willing to walk the path of righteousness in an environment of hostility and ridicule? Are we willing to be bold enough stand firm to our principles in facing up to the challenges in life? Many of us may think we would but only to succumb to the temptations of greed, lust and hatred.If we look around us we realize that very few people are willing to stand up bravely to defend their principles in life.Today many of us are willing to sell our souls to the devil for some material reward.All we want is money,luxury and comforts in life.

The main reason we succumb to temptations is our lack of faith and trust in God. Real faith is tested not during good times but at times of great trouble and difficulty. It is easy to say we trust God when we have everything going our way but it is more important to hold on to that unwavering trust when we are encountered with failure after failure.

We are all well aware that even many hardcore Catholics, laity and clergy alike, have given up their faith in deep frustration as they feel God did not answer their prayers in their time of need. They feel that despite being steadfast in their faith, God did not come to their aid when they badly needed Him. They fail to realize that God answers our prayers in ways we dot not recognize or comprehend. Whatever He gives is what we deserve and is the best in the circumstances we are in.

Today our Church is undergoing a severe crisis of confidence.The clergy sex scandal is threatening very foundation of the Church that was built on the teachings of Christ.What has gone wrong?It is timely to reflect on our imperfections and mistakes and take measures to rectify them instead of accusing those who have exposed our wrong doings as trying to destroy our Church.No evil force will be able to destroy us as long as we are in the right path.Jesus will be always on our side as long as we do the right thing at all times come what may.Let us find the courage to face the truth in the way Jesus did on his way into Jerusalem and Calvary.

Palm Sunday is not just about blessing and waving of palms and shouting “Hosanna, Hosanna” but it is a solemn lesson for us all who claim to be followers of Jesus. Like Jesus who rode into Jerusalem bravely to face His imminent torture and death in the defense of truth, let us also try our best to emulate Him bravely, to uphold the truth, in our journey in this world particularly in times of hardship and pain.

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