Palm Sunday

Imagine our King, the Agong, coming in for a very important ceremony where crowds of people are there to welcome him sitting on a bicycle wearing a fisherman’s outfit! What a sensational news for all the newspapers not only in Malaysia but in the whole world. But this is exactly what Jesus Christ, our Savior, Lord and King did. He entered into his kingdom, Jerusalem, with crowds shouting  “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! 10 Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is coming! Hosanna in the highest!”  (Mk 11: 10-11), and waving joyfully palms cut from trees or lay down their own clothes on the floor for Jesus’ colt to walk on. Jesus Christ entered his kingdom as a pauper.

What a contrast! What an abyss of difference between the worldly king with all his pomp’s and ceremonies and the heavenly king, the Savior of the world!  This very fact should arouse in us many questions and wonders. Or do they?  We have become so used to this ceremony that we even get bored with it.

Do we ever ask some similar questions like: (1) Why did our King, the greatest of all Kings, the Saviour of the world, chose freely to enter into his kingdom like a bagger or a miserable outcast of society? What is the message of these signs to us by God Himself about His kingdom? The meaning behind all these signs and appearances is wrapped up in what Jesus Christ said at the Last Supper: “I have come to serve and not to be served.” He has turned upside down the values of this world and made them all stand on their heads. A real revolution.

Use our heads then. Yes, we do use our heads but they become slaves to our hands and feet to get more and more money, comfort, praise and recognition by people. Instead of running around trying to get as much money as possible, fighting for power, honor and glory from people and seeking comfort and recognition from others, let our heads become masters of our hands and legs and bodies.

We should use our heads to understand that all is passing and will go down to the grave with us and disappear.. What will remain will be the good deeds done, serving others for the love of God. Then, we will really enter triumphantly into the kingdom of Heaven with trumpets blasting and angels singing and rejoicing. “My kingdom,” replied Jesus answered, “is not of this world.” “Then,” retorted Pilate, “You are a king.”  Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king.  For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth.” (Jn 18:33-37)

The values of Jesus’ kingdom is humility, serving others for the love of God, and always seeking to do “God’s will” and not what I want for God but what God wants of me. If we share in Christ’s kingship, we must also share Jesus’ life on earth where he was misunderstood, maligned, cursed, suffered and finally put to death because He preaches values completely opposite to the worldly values promulgated in the world. But, as St. Paul always says, “Rejoice” for your reward will be great. No servant is greater than his/her master. Our master is the LORD JESUS. We do not expect a life better than the one He led, moving ultimately to the cross.

This is one of the messages of Palm Sunday as we celebrate  Jesus Christ’s entry into his kingdom, Jerusalem, as a pauper on a donkey .