Today is Palm Sunday. It is during the celebration of Mass on Palm Sunday at which two gospels are proclaimed. They seemingly could not be more different. The first of these chronicles the triumphant entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem. The second is a passion narrative that ends with the death of Jesus on the cross. They appear to present a dichotomy. Why then do we read both on the same Sunday? Perhaps the quotes below will help.
“No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown.” – William Penn
“Palm Sunday tells us that … it is the cross that is the true tree of life.” – Pope Benedict XVI
Both the entry into Jerusalem and the way of the cross were processions. The first resulted in Jesus being showered with adulation and hailed as the King of the Jews, presumably so that he would militarily lead Israel to a defeat of the Romans. The second resulted in agony, humiliation, suffering and ultimately death. In doing so, Jesus took upon himself the penalty of our sins and defeated death.
Which procession do you think Jesus feared more?