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Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord – 24 March 2024

Today’s Gospel offers profound insights that deeply resonate with the themes of humility and service, which are pivotal to understanding Palm Sunday’s significance. Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, commemorating Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, where he was welcomed as a king with palm branches strewn before him. However, this moment of glory is deeply interwoven with themes of humility and impending sacrifice.

In the reading, Jesus, fully aware of His imminent betrayal and crucifixion, chooses to perform a servant’s task by washing His disciples’ feet. This act, typically performed by servants or slaves, was a radical display of humility and service. Jesus, the teacher, and Lord, kneels before His disciples, including Judas, who would betray Him, and Peter, who would deny Him, to perform this lowly service.

This act contrasts sharply with the image of Jesus on Palm Sunday, where He is celebrated as a king. It serves as a powerful reminder that His kingship is not of pomp and worldly power, but of humility, service, and sacrificial love. Jesus’ actions in washing the disciples’ feet foreshadow the ultimate act of love and service – His sacrifice on the cross.

For Christians, reflecting on this passage in the context of Palm Sunday offers a profound lesson. It reminds us that true leadership and discipleship in the way of Jesus are marked not by authority and power but by humility, service, and love for others. Jesus’ example challenges believers to embrace humility, to serve one another selflessly, and to remember that the path to glory is often paved with acts of humble service and sacrificial love. This reflection fosters a deeper understanding of the paradoxical nature of Jesus’ kingship and the true essence of the celebration of Palm Sunday.

Fr Stephen Berecz

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