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Pope Francis Palm Sunday Reflection

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Pope Francis Palm Sunday Reflection

The Stones Would Cry Out
by Pope Francis

The Gospel before the procession on Palm Sunday (cf. Mt 21:1-11) describes Jesus as he comes down from the Mount of Olives on the back of a colt that had never been ridden.

It recounts the enthusiasm of the disciples who acclaim the Master with cries of joy, and we can picture in our minds the excitement of the children and young people of the city who joined in the excitement.

Jesus himself sees in this joyful welcome an inexorable force willed by God. To the scandalized Pharisees he responds: I tell you that if these were silent, the stones would shout out (Lk 19:40).

But as we joyfully acclaim our King, let us also think of the sufferings that he will have to endure in the coming week. Let us think of the slanders and insults, the snares and betrayals, the abandonment to an unjust judgment, the blows, the lashes and the crown of thorns. And lastly, the way of the cross leading to the crucifixion.

He had spoken clearly of this to his disciples: If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me (Mt16:24).

Jesus never promised honor and success. The Gospels make this clear. He had always warned his friends that this was to be his path, and that the final victory would be achieved through the passion and the cross.

All this holds true for us too. Let us ask for the grace to follow Jesus faithfully, not in words but in deeds. Let us also ask for the patience to carry our own cross, not to refuse it or set it aside, but rather, in looking to him, to take it up and to carry it daily.

Excerpted from the pope’s homily, Palm Sunday, April 9, 2017


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