Palm Sunday recalls Jesus Christ’s entry into Jerusalem on a donkey where he is welcomed by crowds waving palm leaves. Although both Jesus Christ himself and the prophets foretold his violent death, the crowd appears to have had no idea of the fate that was to await him days later.
This inspirational homily (below) reminds us that Easter is about eternal life and Jesus Christ’s triumph over death: WE ARE JUST one week away from Holy Week and our celebration of God’s love for us in his passion, death and resurrection.
Today we look at the meaning of what Jesus did for us. Some Greeks, probably converts to Judaism, approach Philip (whose name is Greek), saying: “We want to see Jesus.”
Philip tells Andrew (another Greek name) and they both go with the request to Jesus. We are not told if those men ever did see Jesus but we do know what seems at first sight the rather strange answer that Jesus gave to his disciples: “Unless a grain of wheat falls on the ground and dies, it remains a single grain; but if it dies, it yields a rich harvest.”
The grain, of course, does not actually die but is totally transformed into something completely new: roots, leaves and fruit.
Similarly the caterpillar lets go of being a caterpillar to become transformed into something altogether different and often much more beautiful – a moth or butterfly.
To see Jesus is not just to look at him, which is what those Greeks presumably wanted.
To SEE Jesus is to enter totally into his way of thinking, to understand WHY he had to suffer and die and rise again.
Like the grain of wheat, Jesus has to let go of everything, including his own life, in order to bring life to himself and many others.
In the process, both he and we will be transformed. If we cannot see this as the core of Jesus’ life, we have not really seen him.
But Jesus goes further and says we must have the same way of thinking: “Anyone who clings to his life, will lose it; the one who is willing to let go will find a much richer and enriching life.”