Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion
1) Is 50:4-7
Psalm 22:8-9, 17-20, 23-24
2) Phil 2:6-11
Gospel: Lk 22:14-23:56
Are you weary? I ask because the first reading has a special message for “the weary.”
I totally put myself in the weary group. I am weary of certain politicians and their views, of certain leaders on the world scene, of endless conversations about certain social ills — and even more of the social ills.
Descending from the global to the personal, I am tired of things about me. But I won’t weary you with a list of particulars.
Again, I ask, are you weary? What wearies you?
“The Lord God has given me a well-trained tongue,” a prophet begins, “that I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them” (Is 50:4).
He is speaking about his own experience but also foreshadowing the experience of someone to come. By scheduling this text for the celebration of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the church makes it perfectly clear who that someone is.
In effect, taking over the prophet’s words, Jesus speaks to us. He has come to rouse the weary. This is along the same line as a call he made during his public ministry. “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28).
What is the “word” he has come to speak?
In one sense, it is everything that is going to be said and done this next week, from Palm Sunday to Easter. Jesus’ Last Supper for us, his death for us, his resurrection for us — this is his rousing word.
Wherever we are worn down, discouraged, depressed, God, through his Son, has gotten at the roots of the problem. Out of human evil and suffering, he has brought forth resurrection and life.
In another sense, Jesus’ word to the weary is what he wants to say to you and me individually, in the depths of our hearts. Somewhere in the Scripture readings and the liturgical celebrations of these coming days, he has a word for each of us. He wants to say something that meets us where we are at.
How can we respond? The prophet sets an example. “Morning after morning,” he says, “he opens my ear that I may hear.” With God’s help, the prophet was attentive to God.
God is with us too, to help us hear whatever it is he wishes to say to us.
Perrotta is the editor and an author of the “Six Weeks With the Bible” series, teaches part time at Siena Heights University and leads Holy Land pilgrimages. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.