Gospel Reflections

Feast of Palm Sunday

Luke 23:1-49

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister SandraAraújo Santos

Published: April 14, 2019


Palm Sunday closes a cycle of a journey to the desert, our inner desert. Now, we are ready to walk with Jesus towards resurrection. However, there is a problem: the gospel of the day begins with a great lie.

“We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Messiah, a king.”

As we look into our reality today, we continue facing this kind of challenge. There are so many lies circling in our midst and deciding the future of nations, peoples and so forth.
We live in a time of fake news.  And this “fake news” incites violence among peoples, nations, relatives, religions.

Jesus was condemned, crucified and assassinated based on fake news that only helped those in power to continue in their positions, exploiting the daughters and sons of God.
The paradox is on the next sentence we can envision a truth.  Jesus’s teaching in fact, opened the eyes of many, and they became dangerous to the system. Let us look to the next sentence from today’s gospel: “He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here.”

Jesus is also accused of raising consciousness and so, people would be able to see clearer and question the imposed sufferings and unjust systems, and this, was a problem for those in power.
This is also a concrete reality on our world of today. We can see so many women and men being accused unjustly and even killed because their teaching “stirs up people”. We can give one example from Brazil, last year Padre Amaro, a priest and leader of the Land Pastoral, who ministers with our sisters in Anapu where Sister Dorothy was killed, was arrested, and is suffering a criminal process in court based on a great lie and also a truth, which is that his teaching, his presence, his ministry “stirs up people”.

The next sentence of today’s gospel also speaks to our times: “Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate”.
The results of this whole bunch of fake things spreads over the entire world of today, is that the Christians, the so called people of God, spread out, get hurt and confused, whereas the ones who plant the discord get united and become friends again.

This was what happened on that day with Jesus’s accusers and judges. “That day Herod and Pilate became friends—before this they had been enemies”.
Finally Simon of Cyrene: “...they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus”.
This continues to be our call for today. To carry the crosses that are crushing the poor, the migrant, the young who do not know what to do with their lives, so commit suicide. The Cross carried by indigenous people who have their lands destroyed by the agribusiness. The Cross carried by the afro peoples suffering racism all over the world. The Cross that is supported by women who are killed by the patriarchal system throughout the world.

Let us begin this Holy Week being spiritually strong, after our journey to the desert, to help all of these sons and daughters of God get free from all those crosses imposed to them. Let us be resurrection to God’s people as Jesus is to all of us.

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