Today is Palm Sunday. The reading for this Sunday in all traditional Christian churches is about the same. It celebrates the triumphal entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem; and, then quickly moves to Jesus’ passion and death. This reading reminds everyone that the crowed is fickle and that it is easily influenced. One day the crowed wants to make you king; soon, persuaded by those with religious/political/social power, it clamors for your death.
The reading also reminds us of the love and filial duty that the Son had for the Father. Even though the Son prayed that He might not suffer an ignominious death, unlike in the time of Abraham, no ram was found to sacrifice instead. Instead, Jesus was condemned unjustly to die the worst, most humiliating death of the times, crucifixion. Christians believe that this great sacrifice was made not just for the love between the Father and the Son. They believe that it was made for the love of the Father and of the Son for all of human kind. It is such a humbling love story.
Aspects of this kind of love are found in all great religions. To paraphrase a story allegedly told by an ancient Rabi, “Night becomes day only when we can see, however dimly, the faces of men and women who are our brothers and sisters”. Jesus’ lesson in love is the light of the world; it can change night into day. If each of us would just illuminate the face of one brother or sister none of us would have to live in the darkness or war, poverty and injustice.