Homily on Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord by Revd. Fr. Christopher Nnubia
Gospel: Matthew 21: 1-11.
First Reading: Isaiah 50: 4-7.
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 22: 8-9.17-18. 19-20.23-24 (R. 2a).
Second Reading: Philippians 2: 6-11.
The Passion of Our Lord Jesus: Matthew 26: 14-27:66.
Truly, this was the Son of God! Dear brothers and sisters, today is Palm Sunday of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Today ushers in the Holy Week. The Holy Week is a week of very serious activities. In the history of the Church, at least to the best of my knowledge, today’s celebration is very unique, in the sense that the usual congregation we normally have, we do not have. Why? Because of the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic. Never mind, we are all together dear brothers and sisters of Church of the Assumption Asokoro. Know that we are celebrating this mass for all of us, for our various intentions and for God to be with us all.
Palm Sunday has two parts: the blessing palm/procession and mass with a passion narrative. The first part is the blessing of palm/procession. In the Gospel of this part, we see how the crowd spread their garments and branches from the trees on the road as Jesus sat on the colt. They were shouting Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest! In part II, the crowd shouted “let him be crucified” in the Passion narrative. At this point when their testimony was needed, the crowd preferred the release of Barabbas to Jesus. Thanks to the crowd in the Gospel of the first part acknowledging Jesus Christ as a king. That acknowledgement has its root in the Old Testament as contained in the first reading from Isaiah 50: 4-7. The Lord God gave him the tongue that he may know how to speak to the weary. The Lord God also opened his ear so that he would be able to be attentive to doing his will which he affirmed in the passion narrative: “My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” In all this, our Lord Jesus Christ was not rebellious nor turn backwards. It is a lesson for us, His followers.
The second reading also points out clearly the qualities of Jesus Christ: He was in the form of God but did not count equality with God; he emptied himself, taking the form of a servant; he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. The qualities of Jesus Christ should also be our qualities as His disciples.
Dear brothers and sisters, as we undergo this passion of our Lord Jesus Christ individually or as a domestic church because we cannot gather today as one big family, let us learn something from what is happening around us. Let us listen with our ears on the directives of Jesus Christ on how to do the will of God. May God give us a tongue that we may know how to sustain with a word those that are weary. Let us use our tongue to proclaim the message of God at this challenging time. It is a time of evangelization. Let us not be sorrowful. Let us rejoice for this journey of Lent which started on Ash Wednesday has prepared our hearts by penance and charitable works to celebrate the paschal mystery of our Lord Jesus Christ. We shall celebrate Easter even if we are not together because the Church continues to exist in each one of us. The family is the domestic Church. This is the period where the Paschal celebration by each domestic Church should be put into practice. The practical aspect of this domestic church should be able to dispel this satanic disease known as coronavirus. May the good Lord bless his words in our hearts now and forevermore. Amen.