From today’s reading...
The Lord GOD is my help,
therefore I am not disgraced;
I have set my face like flint,
knowing that I shall not be put to shame.” Isaiah 50:7
Palm Sunday is important in the Catholic Christian faith.
It's the day we are reminded of Jesus's confident, triumphant entry into Jerusalem where He was betrayed by one of His own, came face-to-face with His accusers, was ridiculed, beaten, crucified, and buried.
This year we read Matthew's account. Last year it was Luke's and the year before it was Mark's.
But in all three of these most recent years, I'm drawn to Isaiah 50 and Psalm 22, which are re-told every year.
Isaiah began writing around 742 B.C. and we see how accurate he was in describing how Jesus handled His persecution and death.
Contrary to popular belief among those who do not know the Bible, Jesus was not indicating He had lost faith in God and was giving up.
He was reminding us of the good that was to come because Psalm 22 is actually an uplifting chapter that concludes with
The generation to come will be told of the Lord,
that they may proclaim to a people yet unborn
the deliverance you have brought.
So in saying "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" it was like us saying
- "Four score and seven years ago..." or
- "You can't handle the truth!" or
- "May the force be with you." or
- "My mama always said life was like a box of chocolates."
Just hearing those single lines conveys an entirety of meaning.
Faithful Jews in 33 A.D. knew the writings of Isaiah and the Psalms by heart.
Many of the faithful followers of Jesus—certainly those at the foot of His cross—were faithful Jews, so they knew He accepted His death with no shame and that even to His dying breath He was encouraging them to...
Stay the course.
Keep the faith.
Now go sell something.