HOMILY FOR PALM SUNDAY 2021                             28th March, 2021

Fr. Gregory Aabaa, OP.

Last Year’s Palm Sunday was rather a sad celebration. We were under lockdown and could not even go to Church due to Covid-19. The streets were deserted and empty.  There were no jubilant crowds on the streets accompanying and cheering Jesus to Jerusalem. It was a sad and painful sight of a lonely Jesus on the streets. It was as if scripture was rewritten and Jesus simply walked into Jerusalem alone. It was the day heaven and earth refused to sing in symphony: the hosanna of the angels could not match the deep wails of a crying and dying humanity who were losing loved ones due to covid-19.

This year, although we must agree that the story is slightly different and even better, we still woke up to a cold and a dry Palm Sunday without a dancing, cheering and enthusiastic jubilant crowd. Although we are allowed to go to church and to come out to meet Jesus because there is no lockdown, we still cannot walk with Jesus on the streets to Jerusalem. We cannot process with Jesus through the streets of our towns and cities and we cannot wave our palms to him. All we can do is a short, dry and a cold hosanna to a Jesus who still remains lonely on the streets marching to Jerusalem alone.

BUT this sad picture offers us an invaluable lesson for our Palm Sunday celebration this year. Rather than process with Jesus through the streets of our towns and cities, we should follow him through the streets of our hearts. Rather than wave the palm fronts, we should wave to him our souls. Rather than sing a cold hosanna to the King of Kings, we should sing an enchanting hosanna to him with the beauty of our Christian lives. Ultimately, three things the Lord requires of us this Palm Sunday so as to march to Jerusalem without being lonely: the streets of our HEARTS, the palm fronts of our SOULS, and the enchanting beauty of our Christian LIVES. To be able to do this, we must all make a strong commitment to God not to be:

  1. Another Judas who betrays Jesus, betrays trust and friendship in marriage, in relationships and in the Church
  2. Another Peter who denies Jesus, the Church’s teachings, etc.
  3. Another Pilate who knows the truth but puts his conscience aside and acts against the truth
  4. Another set of Chief Priests and Pharisees who tell lies and peddle falsehood, giving false accusations and false testimonies against Jesus, our neighbours, our priests in the Parish, our church executives, or societal leaders.
  5. Another set of dishonest crowd, who, after hailing Jesus as Messiah, turn round to ask for his crucifixion.
  6. Another set of solders, who keep nailing Jesus’ hands and feet on the cross with the sharp nails of our sins.

May this week be truly a Holy Week for us. May we journey with Christ as he painfully leads us to our salvation.  AMEN.

Fr. Gregory Aabaa, OP.