Reflection on Mass Readings for Palm Sunday

by Fr M Makama

Is. 50:4-11 is the third of four “servant of the Lord oracles. In the part of the oracle which constitutes the first reading, the servant, like a well-trained disciple accepts the divine vocation whole-heartedly. He willingly submits to insults and beatings. The act of having one’s beard torn out is a grave and painful insult to man since the beard is a one of the marks of his masculinity. A man enjoyed an elevated status, hence the insult.

This foreshadows the Jesus’ detachment from the divine status which is recounted in the second reading: He didn’t count equality with God a thing to be grasped and become a man with us and for us. The suffering servant allows himself to be subjected to this humiliation. Jesus in the second reading, on the other hand, abdicates his divine status voluntarily. As the protagonist in the economy of salvation he does what the Salvation of humanity calls for and I the narrative of the Passion the events of that are at the pinnacle of this self-giving are recounted.