Categories: HomiliesPublished On: April 2nd, 2023Tags: , 624 words18.9 min read
Palm Sunday

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Here are links to our readings for the day:

Palm Sunday

There are two gospel readings today. One at the start of our celebration, Jesus enters Jerusalem as the king. Then we have our usual readings and the Passion Gospel according to Matthew.

We begin Holy Week today. There are many times where we will climb to the top of the mountain. Other times we will be deep in the valley. This is a week to experience our emotions and thoughts about how our God comes to earth to live among us and then die for us.

With so many topics to choose from I thought we should consider Judas the Iscariot, the one who betrayed Jesus.

Jesus chose Judas to be one of His disciples. I believe that Jesus knew that Judas would be the one to betray Him. That must have been a very difficult decision for Jesus, that is, to choose His betrayer. How easy it would have been for Jesus to just ignore Judas and tell him he was not needed. How easy it would be for Jesus to choose someone who would love Him. But Jesus did not, He chose the one who would betray Him.

Judas would be with Jesus for three years. Yet, the heart of Judas did not come to love Jesus. I think Judas wanted a Messiah that would be more forceful, more military minded, a soldier, a fighter. Judas thought of Jesus only in earthly terms. I think Judas failed to recognize Jesus as the Son of God.

And what about the other disciples. Did they not notice that Judas did not always agree with Jesus? We never hear of the disciples talking about Judas. Perhaps the disciples realized that Jesus chose Judas and to speak badly about Judas would be speaking badly about Jesus.

Perhaps this is the lesson to consider today. Just as Jesus chose Judas, He has also chosen us. Are we any different than Judas? Before we answer that question consider, remember, we are all brothers and sisters of Judas in that we are all sinners. Are there not times where we act just as Judas?

There are times when we do not follow Jesus. There are times when we betray Jesus when we do not defend our faith. There are times when we turn away from Jesus because we take the Lord’s name in vain. There are times when we ignore Jesus because we forget to pray. There are times we complain because Jesus does not do what we ask of Him. And I am sure there are many more times where we offend Jesus. Yes, we are all sinners.

Before we fall into despair, remember the other disciples all acted as Judas in the presence of Jesus. The difference between the disciples and Judas was that they could open their hearts and trust in Jesus.

We are all sinners and Jesus calls each of us to Him. When we accept the grace and love He offers us then we can humble ourselves and become His disciples. If we choose as Judas did there is only despair and no hope. There is no greater love than one who will die for another.

I encourage you to enter into Holy Week knowing Jesus loves you. He wants you to accept Him into your heart. Open your Bible this week and spend a few minutes on each of the readings we have for Holy Thursday and Good Friday. This will prepare you for the greatest event of all time, the Resurrection.

May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen