The Liturgy for Palm Sunday actually contains two gospel readings. Matthew 21:1-11 is proclaimed prior to the Processional and recounts the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. The second gospel reading, Matthew 26:14-27:66, which is read during the Liturgy of the Word, is Saint Matthew’s Passion account and narrates Jesus’ final days from the Institution of the Holy Eucharist, through the events of Good Friday until His burial.
Crowds play an important role in both readings. On Palm Sunday, there is a crowd lining the roadway to Jerusalem and proclaiming Jesus as King. On Good Friday, the crowd is shouting for His Crucifixion. I had thought that these gospel passages when considered together, describe the inconstancy of human opinion. Most of us have experienced such fickleness, but perhaps there is another explanation?
It is possible that there were two separate groups in that Good Friday crowd, and the voices of those proclaiming Jesus as King were drowned out by those shouting for His Crucifixion. Similarly, in today’s world, the cries of the poor, marginalized, homeless, immigrants, advocates for life, and those on the fringes of society are being drowned out. Despite the inescapability of public opinion, we are called to join our voices with these “least among our brothers and sisters,” no matter how small or insignificant our voice may seem. Will you allow your voice to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves?
Wishing you a Blessed Holy Week!
Sister Marcella Louise Wallowicz, CSFN