Palm Sunday 2020 Homily – Fr. Rick Sherman
Version #2 (Longer, more in depth) Please review shorter version….
“Let His blood be upon us and upon our children!”
The events depicted in the Passion of our Lord probably represent more than any other just how profoundly confused is the human species. The Jews (who we believe represent all of us) have been waiting many centuries for a Messiah that will rescue them from their mostly miserable plight. The Messiah finally shows up, and remarkably, He is not recognized despite the many hints and clues and promises given in the earlier Hebrew Scriptures. It’s not enough they insist on a hurried and unjust trial to condemn Jesus to death, but just for good measure they decide to throw in a curse to show just how confident they are in their actions. “Let his blood be upon us and upon our children!” Such is the ‘wisdom’ of a crowd worked up into a frenzy.
Is it then God’s punishment that in about 35 more years the Romans destroy Jerusalem? Was that the blood response of God? The Jews were then almost 2000 years away from having a homeland (1948). Probably most of us have seen many news reels of the Germans of the 1930’s and 40’s being worked up into a frenzy by Adolf Hitler and the promises of a 1000 year reign of the Third Reich. We recall that the vast majority of the Germans were either Catholic or Lutheran. Talk about the profound confusion of a mob worked up into a frenzy!! Was the holocaust of 6 million Jews just one more episode of God response to the blood curse that the Jews had place on their children?
No, that is not the case at all. Although the Jews would not have known it at the time, the best possible wish they could have for themselves and their children is that ‘Christ’s blood be upon them’. We know now that the blood of Christ on the cross is exactly what has redeemed us. It is Christ’s blood that washes away our sins brought on by the confusion that Satan has pledged to subject us to forever. In Jesus’ death He had fulfilled the obligations of the Jews’ blood covenant broken centuries before. Jesus does not listen to our curses, but Satan does, and he knows just how to take advantage of a worked-up mob of confused people.
Palm Sunday and Holy Week are specifically recurring so that we can be re-reminded and renewed by the Body and Blood of Christ’s sacrificial offering. God knows that we humans are very susceptible to the rants of despots and mobs who promise us easy solutions to our confused and miserable condition. By letting our Church get weak over the past few decades, by not adequately passing along our Tradition, we have indeed ‘cursed’ our children to the influence of every toxic voice and ideology that promises us something far short of God’s promise. Jesus has promised us a Life of True Abundance and Eternal Life. We will realize and experience this Life every time we are genuinely repentant and allow ourselves to be washed clean of the sins that keep our species in a state of such chronic confusion.
Jesus was everyone’s scapegoat. The religious leaders, the Jewish people and the Roman authorities all thought it most expeditious to just get Him out of the way.
Who are our modern scapegoats? Whose fault is it that we are in such a global tailspin? The Republicans? The Democrats? The Billionaires? The Lazy people? Any infinite variety of ethnic or religious groups? Will we allow ourselves to be worked into a frenzy or will we accept the blood of Jesus which is upon us? Will we face the sins which have caused such confusion and inequity within God’s global village?
Please consider taking advantage of the opportunities for Reconciliation and Adoration as denoted on the Pastoral Message on our website.