Today we celebrate the feast of Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday in a nut shell signifies Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem. By this entry, in the form of parade, Christ unveils his messianic kingship. He tells the world about his heavenly kingship and kingdom, which are not of this world. And the people acknowledged that by laying down their palm fronds for the King Jesus Christ to walk on as recognition of his divine kingship. There is so much mystery in and lessons from today’s gospel, Luke 22, 14-23, 56.
With his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, Christ teaches us the true meaning of kingship and leadership- having at all times the attitude of a servant characterized by humility, selflessness, obedience, forgiveness, etc. When his apostles were bickering over which of them was the “most important” among themselves, he reminded them that “The Kings of the pagan nations rule over them as lords and the most hard-hearted rulers claim the title……” In this sense, Christ was telling them to imbibe a model of leadership that sees the lowest man in a group as the leader and the highest person as the servant. This he spelt out in his words: “….. let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as the servant.” In our earthly conception of kingship and leadership we wouldn’t have expected him to dine ordinary people in society. But as an example to us he dined among the people we regarded as servants. He showed them that his kingship has no discrimination against people for whatsoever reason; his model of leadership is accommodating and gives respect to everyone. With these words:
“You are the ones who have been with me and stood by me through my troubles; because of this, just as the kingship has been given to me by my Father, so I give it you. You will eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones and govern the twelve tribes of Israel,”
he re-assured them and showed them how committed his model of leadership was. We represent the apostles today and Christ in today’s gospel reading was speaking to us just like he did to his apostles.
However, as Christ speaks to us today in the gospel passage, he is aware that some of us will turn our back on him; and he knows already how some of us will act like Judas and other apostles who denied having anything to do with him. But he is always willing to pardon and have us back to his flock. The question that has been passed onto us from today’s gospel is if we are willing to accept into our heart this triumphant entry Christ has made into Jerusalem? Our hearts signify Jerusalem. The way we accept today’s message and the ones to come through out the incoming week will determine whether we are keeping up the rejection, betrayal and the death on the cross that meted out to Christ by the Jews.