Malankara World

Sermons Based on the Lectionary of the Church

Devotional Thoughts for Palm Sunday

by Jose Kurian Puliyeril

Gospel Reading: St. John 12: 12-19

From today’s reading we learn about the enthusiasm of the people who had reached Jerusalem, from different parts, to observe the feast of Passover, who initiated to welcome Lord Jesus to the Holy city, with branches of olive trees, crying Hosanna: Blessed is the king of Israel that comes in the name of the Lord.” Their understanding that He is the King of Israel, that comes in the name of the Lord, who is the real prince of peace, is to be appreciated. Of course God Almighty might have revealed the truth to them. Still they humbled themselves to hold branches of olives, as a symbol of their recognition of the King of Peace is note worthy. Always the olive trees and its branches and leaves stand as representatives or symbols of genuine peace.

For the feast of Hosanna as well as similar occasions we conduct processions around the church carrying Church flags, decorated umbrellas etc etc. But in many of our churches, very few come forward to carry them during the processions. The shortage of the information about the significance and meaning of these might be the reason. The present day elders are responsible for introducing the awareness among the youngsters. Our forefathers used to believe such doings as a means of blessing. We all must imitate the people who gathered in Jerusalem to welcome Lord Jesus. Let us try to make our processions and rituals livelier, meaningful and blessed.

The triumphant entry of our Lord to the Holy city started from the top area of mount Olive and passed through the narrow passage down by the side of the cemetery as well as the Garden of Gethsemane. We could assume that the people who reached in hurry to welcome our Lord might have rushed from the bottom of the mount to the top. They shouted “Hosanna”, which literally means ‘save us Lord’.

Our Lord utilized the young ass as His carriage. Our Lord used the young ass to show that He is the real shepherd, who incarnated in search of the lost sheep of Israel. We must realize that the term ‘Israel’ is used here to denote the entire humanity and not only the descendants of Abraham. The purpose of the incarnation itself was the re-installation of humanity in the original place where the first man was placed. Or we could say that our Lord wanted to give us back the lost position in His kingdom. Ass is the companion and help of each and every shepherd. By accepting the young ass, our Lord proved that He is the real shepherd.

The Pharisees and the Sadducees who were in distress saying that the world has gone after Him were sure of the prophecy in Isaiah 62: 11 as well as in Zechariah 9: 9. They knew it, but their minds were not set to believe Him as the Savior. Let us examine the depth and width of our faith. We all have information about all these things. Let us think are we like the Jews, who could not believe in our Lord. In His second coming, would we be able to identify Him as our Lord, God and Savior. Let us depend the grace and guidance of the Holy Spirit in us to realize our Lord as He is. Let us seek more and more indwelling of the Holy Spirit in us.

May God bless us all.

See Also:

Great Lent Resources - Home

Palm Sunday Sermon by Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh

Devotional Thoughts for Palm Sunday
by Rev. Fr. T. George

Devotional Thoughts for Hosanna Sunday - Palm Sunday
by Jose Kurian Puliyeril

Devotional thoughts for Palm Sunday
by Jose Kurian Puliyeril

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