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Monday, March 22, 2010

Liturgy of the Palms Liturgy of the Passion Year C John 12:12-16

The Triumphal Entry in the Gospel of John is placed strategically between Mary of Bethany's anointing of Jesus and the Greeks' wishing to see Jesus. Therefore, Jesus has been anointed for death--foreshadowing of crucifixion, and Gentiles begin to seek him--foreshadowing of salvation offered to all. Unlike Luke, John does not spend much time on the Entry.Only four verses set the stage for the pain and the passion. Mark's account gives us more material also. John seems to enjoy having people state the obvious without knowing why they are saying it.

The people proclaim, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord--the King of Israel!"

What is the obvious?
Jesus rides on the back of a donkey entering Jerusalem at Passover?
Mighty Messiah?
Military Mayhem?
Maybe More?

Expectations and hope fill the air. Palm branches wave. Some scholar say the waving branches of Palms stem back to Maccabean times, celebrating military victory.

What are my hopes this Palm Sunday? Do I wish for God to do violence to get revenge on my enemies? Do I wish for God to punish the "sinners" of the age?

Or do I expect God to forgive and forget? Do I expect grace to be offered to even those who stand in the crowd crying crucifiy him five days later? Do I realize I am in that crowd?

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