Fickle Sunday – Dcn. John Stanley

Dcn. John Stanley’s Homily March 28, 2021

“Today we come to that Sunday with the split personality. We start our celebration with an upbeat Gospel recounting Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, but then quickly in this second Gospel we just heard and participated in we are brought to the stark reality of the Passion of Jesus. We know this Sunday by two names: Palm Sunday and Passion Sunday. Officially in the Liturgy it is known as Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord. I propose a third name: Fickle Sunday. The people had been wowed by his sermons and his parables. They had been fed miraculously with the multiplication of bread and fishes. They had been healed of their diseases, cured of their blindness of their deafness. Cripples were made to walk. He delivered them from demons and so they welcome his with this triumphal parade this procession of waving palms and branches proclaiming him to be the King, the Savior, but then only a few days later the cheers turn to jeers. The crowd turns on Jesus. They reject the King of peace, they want a more powerful king now, a political king. We have no king but Caesar they proclaim. Their shouts of Hosanna turn to crucify him, crucify him! They are fickle. What about us? How many times have we and do we reject the King of Peace? How many times do we betray him, do we deny him? How many times do we fail to stand up and defend him? Some of us have been pacing ourselves throughout this Lent. Well today marks the beginning of the final stretch, the bell lap. In the next few days meditate on the Passion. Contemplate his wounds in front of a crucifix. Watch or rewatch the Mel Gibson movie, The Passion of the Christ. Attend the Triduum, Holy Thursday, Good Friday. Don’t be fickle, be faithful. Let us sprint to the finish line where Jesus awaits us with outstretched arms.”