Readings for Palm Sunday
John 12:12-43; Philippians 2:5-11; Deuteronomy 32:36-39
“Don’t get your hopes up.”
I’m afraid this has become something of a motto in our day. We say we’re just being realistic. But in fact, it’s a deep cynicism that has infected our culture. Many have gotten their hopes up about a certain leader or cause, a certain vision of how their future could be, only to have those hopes dashed. And so they simply stop hoping in anything.
By contrast, I’m struck by the sheer exuberance of the crowds who met Jesus riding into Jerusalem. They are unashamedly joyful. Unabashedly hopeful. Their cries are both a song of celebration and a plea for help (John 12). Perhaps, some of their hopes were misguided, more earthly than heavenly. Still, their joy was exactly the right way to welcome this King. Jesus is our hope!
Saint Paul tells us to adopt the mindset of the King in our own lives. Like Jesus, we don’t use our freedom as an opportunity to sin. We live as servants to the world around us. Servants ultimately of Christ, before whom every knee shall one day bow (Phil 2).
Moses describes the uniqueness of God, who alone can save us. When our spirits are exhausted. When our strength is used up from futile chasing after love and joy in all the wrong places, God alone is there to renew our spirit (Deut 32).