Reflection: 14th April 2019

A Reflection for Palm Sunday

LK: 22:14 – 23:56 (

Today's Liturgy marks the beginning of Holy Week, the most solemn of all weeks in the Church Year. It truly is the ‘mother of all weeks’, as we remember and celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus. Today the story of The Passion is proclaimed in all our churches.

Many thoughts strike us as we listen to the story of The Passion. Probably the most central question which arises is: ‘What kind of God do we believe in?’

The religious leaders in Jesus' time were teaching the people about a false God, who was a harsh and strict judge always ready to punish the wicked, and who despised sinners. Faith in a false God cannot give us joy, only sadness and anxiety. Jesus didn't teach to fear but rather to fear the evil in us and around us.

One of the strongest characteristics of Jesus which comes across to us is His strength of character, this despite what He knew He was about to face such as when the soldiers came looking to arrest Him and He bravely said: “I am he. Let these others go.”

Other factors are Jesus’ courage in spite of all opposition, fidelity to His Father's will, and pure goodness.  All of this is because of His immense love for each and every one of us. 

In contrast to Jesus' moral courage and strength of character is the cowardice of His followers who abandoned Him in His hour of greatest need. Even His disciples weren't strong enough to "stay awake" and Peter denied ever having known him. What a huge disappointment for the Lord of love!  Some of us will have experienced the same in our own hour of need, and we hope that we are able to respond positively when a friend of ours is in need. 

As we hear all these sentiments recalled, are we able to recognise ourselves in these events?

Pilate, a central figure in the Passion story, was weak. He presents Jesus to the people as their king. In reality, he is presenting a choice: One can choose the kingship of this world or one can follow Jesus and give up his or her life for love, a love which, as Jesus showed us, demands sacrifice: ‘Do this in memory of me.’

Martin Keane C.S.Sp.  – Ordained in 1970,Fr. Martin was first appointed to Kenya the following year and spent many years in the east African country including as leader of the Spiritan community there.  Provincial Leader in Ireland from 1994 to 2000, he is now leader of the community attached to Rockwell College.