Excerpts from a homily on Palm Sunday

From The Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron, Archbishop | Issued March 31, 2015

Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron Given at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament Sunday, March 29, 2015

At the end of the liturgy we’re going to sing one of my favorite Passiontide hymns, “My Song is Love Unknown.” And the poet, in a verse commenting on the carrying of the palms says this: “Sometimes they strew his way and his sweet praises sing, resounding all the way hosannas to their king. Then ‘Crucify!’ is all their breath, and for his death they thirst and cry.” The poet reflects on the paradox of the first Palm Sunday. And very likely some of the same people who proclaimed Jesus as King on Palm Sunday cried out for his death and accused him of being an imposter on Good Friday morning.

Our carrying the palms is a profession that we do not think Jesus in his death is proved to be an imposter. Because we have faith, we carry the palms and by them profess that we recognize in the self-offering of Jesus the very essence of who he is as our king. As it says in an ancient Christian hymn, our king Jesus has reigned from the cross. We proclaim this truth every time we come to the Eucharist: “We proclaim your death lord until you come in glory… When we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim your death until you come again… Save us, savior of the world, for by your cross and resurrection, you have set us free.”

This is who we are, you and me — those who proclaim that the crucified one is my king. His way, his teaching, his spirit directs me, directs you. He is our Lord.

I’m particularly grateful that, year after year, members of youth groups, young people, come to be part of this. I’m very grateful for the children’s choir today, taking the role of the Hebrew children. But today especially, St. John Paul reminded us that today is a day for young people to proclaim the kingship of Christ crucified. Proclaim, in a powerful way, because (they are) claiming Christ for their future. Claiming that the decisions — so many that are yet to be made — will follow in the path of Jesus, his self-sacrifice, his humility, his abandonment to the Father.

So then, with renewed devotion let us, all the days of this week, meditate on the events of the Lord’s Passover so that, as the liturgy says, by being immersed in the Passover we will come to share in His glory.

I hope you all have a very blessed, blessed Holy Week.