Reflection by Fr Confidence Masvosva;

First Reading Isaiah 50:4-7;

Second Reading Philippians 2:6-11;

Gospel Mark 14:1 – 15:47





Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week. It celebrates the triumphant entry of Christ into the royal city of Jerusalem. This entry is highly symbolic. It demonstrates that Christ is the Davidic king that fulfilled this ancient prophecy: “He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness…” (Isaiah 9, 7).

Both the first and second reading of Palm Sunday are on the suffering and humility of Christ the son of God. The first reading from the book of Isaiah, is the song of the suffering servant of God. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul also reminds us of the humility and obedience of Christ, the servant of God: “…He emptied himself to assume the condition of a slave, and became as men are, he was humble even to accepting death on a cross.”

Humbly, the servant of God accepted all his sufferings to save us. He offered and lost his life to secure victory for us. The most important lesson from all these is that the virtues of patience, humility and obedience are significant in life. The readings teach us that suffering is expected in life. Only those who are ready to persist and endure to the end will triumph. They teach us that, if we persist in our faith, we shall emerge victorious over sufferings.

The passion narrative according to Mark brings some crucial symbols. These include the palms, the donkey, and the crowd. The Palms represent the royalty of Christ and his peaceful reign. The donkey is a symbol of Christ’s humility. Though he is king, he chose to ride on a donkey, a humble animal. This is opposite to what we see today in our world. Our rulers and kings live lavishly, while their people live in poverty. Christ demonstrated his humility, through his solidarity with the poor and the weak.

The procession we do on Palm Sunday is done for two reasons. First, to honour Christ as he enters the royal city. That is why we sing: “Hosanna to the son of David, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Second, to express our solidarity with Christ as he begins the journey that will ultimately lead to our salvation. As we sing hosanna on this day, we must ask God for the grace to remain faithful to the end.

Sadly, part of the crowd who welcomed Christ with the shout of hosanna, would be the people to later commanded “crucify him” on Good Friday. These experiences simply reflect the reality of life. They reflect how unfaithful and unpredictable we can be at times in our relationships with God, and others. At one point we are for Christ, when something happens, we are against him. Yet Christ’s love remains whether we are struggling, or we are going well in life. As human beings we find ourselves in that situation in our relationships. Another day we are friends, and when the wave or storm comes enemies.

In our solidarity with Christ, let us ask God for the grace to remain steadfast to him at all moments of our lives. We must also extend this solidarity to others. This is because, in others, we encounter both Christ the suffering servant of God as well as, Christ the king of the world.

The donkey’s pathway was carpeted with branches because of Jesus but when it went back do you think the branches were put for it? Let us be faithful and humble like a donkey carrying Christ to others and not changing colours to suit us like chameleons.