The crowds with Palm branches shouted with excitement and jubilation on that first Palm Sunday.  Jesus was entering the holy city of Jerusalem to the acclaim of the people. Hopes of a warrior type deliverer had spread like wildfire and those locked in bitter depute with the invading enemies saw in  Jesus the hope of getting rid of the hated Romans.  They longed for a Messiah with a vengeance and a hatred to match and even exceed their own. However, their shouts of ‘Hosanna’ soon stopped when it became obvious that the nature of God’s deliverance was at odds with their expectations. They would hear from Jesus words such as love, forgiveness and reconciliation rather than screams of frenzied hate and vicious taunts leading an uprising to justify his claim to be  King.  ‘Hosannas’ would soon become cries of ‘crucify Him!’  His way was a way of peace and extending hands of forgiveness even to his greatest enemy.  Even in his final minutes of suffering he never cursed those who nailed him to the cross.  ‘Father, forgive’ are the words that resound through the ages and seal the message of God’s love to a lost and sinful world.

That’s why this Palm Sunday we remember the King who comes in humility and whose final triumph over sin, death and evil we see in the Easter message of resurrection and victory through suffering love. We welcome the coming of Jesus as King and are reminded of God’s reign of justice peace and love which overcomes hatred, terrorism and fear in all its forms. This is a message our world needs to hear of a God whose mercy and justice challenges those who follow the ways of evil intimidation and terrorism. This Sunday we proclaim  ‘Hosanna! to Him who comes in the name of the Lord’ and pray for the coming of the Kingdom of God, on earth as it is in heaven!

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