Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion
April 14, 2019
“Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” These words of Jesus from Luke’s account of Christ’s Passion and death reveal the compassion of the Suffering Servant. Hello, I’m Franciscan Father Greg Friedman, and this is the Sunday Soundbite for Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion.
Each of the evangelists has a distinctive portrait of Jesus as he walks the way to Calvary. Luke remains consistent to the characteristics he’s highlighted all through his Gospel. He especially depicts Jesus’ concern for those on the margins of society–shown as the Lord heals in the Garden, comforts the weeping women, forgives his executioners, and welcomes the repentant thief.
Many of us, I’m sure, have known people near death who show more concern about the feelings of those around them than for themselves. We marvel at the self-sacrifice such heroic love involves. Here, in this Sunday’s account of the Passion, is the model for all love–the sacrificial love of Jesus, which continues to be available for each of us.
Luke painted this portrait specifically for a Christian community in the latter half of the first century, which faced internal doubts and external persecution. It seems clear that he’s urging them—and us, the Church at the beginning of the Third Millennium—to cling fast to the image of the Suffering Messiah, whose example of love ought to guide our personal and communal life as Christians and as the Church.