Palm Sunday: From Hosannas to God’s Abandonment to Easter Joy

palm sunday

BY CARDINAL JOSEPH W. TOBIN, C.Ss.R. | April 5, 2020
Palm Sunday
Today’s Readings
Reflexión en Español

The Lord’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem, which we recall each year on Palm Sunday, is extremely short-lived. Less than a week later, Jesus, who was hailed as a conquering hero with shouts of Hosanna! and the waving of palm branches will be mocked, scourged, and crucified. He will suffer the most humiliating rejection imaginable, and he will be betrayed by those closest to him as well as by the religious and political leaders of his day. Dying on the cross, he will cry out, in the words of Psalm 22, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” 

palm sunday, cardinal tobin

Jesus knows what it means to be rejected and to suffer at the hands of injustice and cruelty. He shares in the loneliness and sorrow of people in all times and cultures who are suffering outcasts. As we observe this feast of both joy and sorrow, it’s important for us to be one in mind and heart with all our sisters and brothers who are suffering from the devastating effects of poverty, homelessness, migration, oppression (physical and mental) and all forms of cruelty and inhumanity. 

Jesus endured abandonment and humiliation for our sake. He asks us, his disciples, to reach out to all who suffer as he did and to assure them they are not alone or forgotten. As Pope Francis reminds us frequently, we are called to bring Jesus, and his Gospel of joy, to those who hunger and thirst for closeness to God. As we enter into this remembrance of the Lord’s passion, let’s prepare to comfort each other—and especially those most in need—with the anticipation of Easter joy. 

3 replies
  1. Pat
    Pat says:

    And not only human suffering, but also the creatures with whom we share the world who are used and abused for our selfish wants or “entertainment”.

  2. Joseph Lynch
    Joseph Lynch says:

    GREAT message BUT

    Please read Psalm 22 before reading further.

    Psalm 22 is about the frustration the person finds himself in but it moves into complete trust in the Father and praises the Father …

    The writer is implying that even God abandoned Jesus – if not in the essay then certainly in the title.

    The truth of the matter is that Jesus could barely talk in his passion but by saying these words the Jews knew he was referring to Psalm 22 and exactly what he meant and that He was actually praising God.

    Joe Lynch


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *