“Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord!’” Mark 11:8-9
“But the crowds shouted all the more, ‘Crucify him!’”
Palm Sunday is honestly one of my least favorite days in the life of the Church. I don’t like what it does to my psyche. We start out triumphant, jubilant, ecstatic, and then by the end of the service we are angry, bloodthirsty, and in a very dark place. At least that is what our gospel readings for the day do to us. There is a turn that takes place in the liturgy, and if you aren’t paying attention then you just might look up and realize that things are different. And they have changed really fast.
And I think that’s why I’ve never really liked Palm Sunday very much. Because if I am being honest, that’s how I am in my own life. I can turn really fast. I can become angry very quickly. I can be unforgiving at the drop of a hat.
Palm Sunday forces me to recognize that at various points in my life I am focused, devout, and in love with Jesus, and then at other points I am distant, uninterested, and careless in my relationship with the Lord.
That’s one of the realizations I have about myself each year as the Church moves into Holy Week. And then I am given the opportunity to refocus, to recommit, and to turn again as I follow Jesus to the cross.
Following you is never easy, O Lord, but I am grateful that you are always with me as I journey. Amen.
-The Rev. Andrew Olivo