OMELIE / Omelie EN

14 apr 2019
14/04/2019 – Palm Sunday - C

14/04/2019 – Palm Sunday - C

Beginning LK 19,28-40 Reading 1 IS 50,4-7 Psalm 21  Reading 2 PHIL 2,6-11 Gospel LK 22,4 – 23,46


Today’s celebration begins with a rite that lets us experience again the joy Jesus’ disciples experienced when He, reaching the end of the journey towards Jerusalem, arrived at the outskirts of the city on the Mount of Olives! In that place the pilgrims were rejoicing singing the Psalms called “approaching”. In this occasion the joy is way bigger, because the king itself is arriving in the city: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord”! Jesus lets His people call Him like that, and He lets them rejoice, even though He knows they do not completely understand His royal dignity. However, the latter is really authentic, the most authentic. In Him the meaning of the word ‘king’ is really realized, as the representative of God’s authority for the people. However, in order to help them not to become delusional, He sends them to collect a colt: so everybody can remember Zachary’s prophecy, announcing the meek and humble king, a king coming to offer Himself not to impose His presence, to love and not to rule.

The Pharisees, who do not accept the joyful words of the disciples, with their refusal they prophesies all what has to come. Their refusal anticipates the one Jesus will experience in the city. We will be able to understand also other prophecies that introduce God’s Servant like someone who does not receives glory from men, but persecution and rejection. Since the very first reading of the Mass, in fact, it looks like the entire joy of our procession comes to an end.

Isaiah is talking about someone that is obeying God among unimaginable tortures: it is God’s Servant, the one who needs to bring to us God’s glory! This reading could give us some feeling of uneasiness, like the song from the Psalm. How comes that the man chosen to represent God is suffering so much, and he is suffering because of men he wants to love? Why so much hate and violence is poured on the man of God?

Saint Paul is helping us to read these facts in a whole different light: it is Jesus Himself, the Son of God, who wants to be close to us. In order to do that, He does not find a better way than getting Himself in a position that is lower than ours, getting himself into the suffering and the death that are keeping us slaves of fear. This is costing Him humiliation, the humiliation of the cross, a horrible torture, showing the diabolic meanness of whoever decrees it. God the Father does not prevent the Son from having an understanding love towards the suffering human community. He rewards Him, glorifying Him. The glory given by the Father is then granted by all His children: whoever knows God and loves Him, bends his knees in front of Jesus, recognizes Him Lord of his life and witness of the love of the Father Himself.

With this interpretation we can listen to the story of the Lord’s Passion, that the faithful disciples have lived and meditated for a long time in order to understand its endless love. The story begins with Jesus’ confession to the disciples regarding the Pascal supper, so longed for.

He knows that it is the last moment in which He will be able to talk to them, and it becomes the most important moment of their life. The whole Church will live based on this moment, which will give the interpretation to understand and accept also the following horrible hours, that will see Jesus wet in blood on the Mount of Olives, abandoned by one of His disciples in the hands of the religious authorities, slandered and accused by them, condemned by the civil ones, dying in terrible pain, made even more terrible by the general contempt.

The Lord takes in His hands the unleavened bread, the one of the people’s feast of the liberation from slavery. He knows that men need to fear another slavery, way more unhappy and hidden. Who can possibly free them from it? He Himself will do that, offering Himself to go through that death that is keeping them prisoners of fear and therefore it is making them selfish: through His love He will win the power of death!

The bread He is now about to break will continue to be broken by the disciples’ hands in the centuries to come, and it will bring in men’s lives the same love that now makes Him take on the cross. The cup, that in the Pascal rite makes us happy because of the covenant between God and the people of Israel, now becomes the cup of a new Covenant that is about to be established: Jesus’ blood will be shed as a sacrifice because of our sins. By drinking it and becoming in this way a single thing with the Son, we are included in the Father’s love, who loves us like true children.

By eating the bread and drinking the wine we offer ourselves to be body and blood of the Son of God, so to bring as well the Father’s love to the world. By eating and drinking the body and the blood of Jesus Christ we are divinized, and also fed in a way that the new life, started with the baptism, will continue to grow and to show itself to other men that are waiting for news of a holy, merciful, selfless and eternal love!