At the beginning of the Mass, we participated in the triumphant procession of Jesus into Jerusalem.
We joyfully waved the palm branches to welcome the King who comes in the name of the Lord.
And just as quickly as the weather changes, we witness another procession, this time a procession out of Jerusalem, a procession towards execution.
And this time, the palm branches are as lifeless as dead leaves.
Yet these palm branches which we will bring home are a reminder that whether in celebration or in tribulation, we must be with Jesus, our Lord.
We must stay with Jesus especially in His trials and suffering.
The gospel portrayed Jesus as being tested.
From His sweating of blood to His being betrayed and abandoned by His disciples, to His being interrogated, to His crucifixion, Jesus was tested.
He was tested but He persisted. He was abandoned but He was not broken.
In fact He could even tell the repentant thief: Indeed, I promise you, today you will be with me in paradise.
So as we bring home these palm branches, let us also walk with Jesus in His triumphant procession into Jerusalem, and stay close to Him in the procession towards execution which will unfold before us.
Because we too will be tested. We too will face our agonies, our betrayals, our pains, our loneliness and our sufferings.
Yet we are also reminded that our sufferings in the world are nothing compared to the glory that is waiting for us in eternity.
In the meantime, let us keep in mind these words of Jesus to the repentant thief.
Indeed, I promise you, today you will be with me in paradise.
It is a King’s promise, it’s a Saviour’s promise. It is God’s promise.