Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord - Palm Sunday

Decrease font size
Increase font size
Print this page
Home > Archbishop > Homilies > Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord - Palm Sunday

Today marks the beginning of Holy Week, the most sacred week of our Christian year. The ceremonies of this day take us to two places – the triumphal entry into Jerusalem and then to the events of Good Friday.

We have just solemnly read the account of St Luke of the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have recalled the events, pondered all that the Lord has endured for us. We are reduced to silence as we stand before the Cross. Our hearts are deeply moved by our awareness that this is what God has done for us.

Next Friday we will once again visit this story, listening to St John give us his moving account. St John was there. He witnessed it all. He stood with Mary, the mother of Jesus, beholding the terrible suffering of the Lord.

Today, I would like to briefly return to the beginnings of our ceremony – the entry of the Lord into Jerusalem. What a strange contrast between the two events. The crowds of Palm Sunday cry out “Hosanna to the Son of David”. They joyfully proclaim, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”. The entry of the Lord into Jerusalem was triumphant and joyful, and the Lord declared that if the children did not sing the praises of God, the very stones would begin to cry out.

Only days later the crowds on Good Friday cry out, “Crucify him, Crucify him”.

We know that the Lord was entering Jerusalem for the last time, and he knew it. We know that he would carry his cross through the streets and beyond the city walls, to Golgotha, there to be crucified. This act, this sacrifice, was the supreme act of the love and mercy towards humanity.

So indeed we can rejoice with the crowds who welcomed Jesus into the holy city. Our voices can sing with them, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”. And we do sing this at every Mass. In the Holy Holy we sing these very words. We are declaring our praise of Christ, the Lord. We give him glory and honour. “Hosanna in the Highest”, that is, “praise be to God”.

Recalling the scene of the Lord’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem we too lift our voices in praise of him who entered Jerusalem so that by his suffering and death we have been saved.

On this solemn day with Holy Week unfolding before us, let us lift our hearts to God in praise. Let us worship God who in Jesus his Son has redeemed and saved us.

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the Highest”.

Archbishop Julian Porteous
Saturday, March 19, 2016