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By Steve Yambao

Palm Sunday, an esteemed occasion in the Catholic liturgical calendar, serves as a threshold to Holy Week, marking the triumphant arrival of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem. According to the Gospel narrative, Jesus made his entrance riding on a donkey, greeted by crowds waving palm branches and carpeting his path with them, shouting praises. This episode symbolizes the acknowledgment of Jesus as the awaited Messiah, fulfilling age-old prophecies. In Catholic tradition, Palm Sunday is observed with the blessing of palm fronds, Gospel readings recounting the entry into Jerusalem, and processions mimicking this pivotal event.

The significance of Jesus’ choice to ride a donkey resonates profoundly with me, encapsulating the virtues of humility, servitude, and compassion. Despite being hailed as the promised King, Jesus intentionally rejected the trappings of worldly authority, opting for a modest means of transport. His deliberate display of humility speaks volumes about his character, challenging societal norms and aligning himself with the marginalized. This act prompts us to introspect, evaluating how we manifest humility and service in our dealings with others, especially those on the margins of society.

In light of Pope Francis’s advocacy for the Synod on Synodality within the Catholic Church, this passage gains renewed significance. Just as Jesus humbly entered Jerusalem, we are likewise urged to follow his example in our faith and communal endeavors. The Synod underscores the importance of attentively listening to the voices of all believers, embracing the diversity of experiences and perspectives within the Church. Through embracing humility, servitude, and compassion, we can foster a more inclusive and hospitable Church, where every individual is cherished and esteemed as a beloved child of God.

Steve Yambao is a Secular Discalced Augustinian & Liturgical Coordinator at San Secondo d’Asti Catholic Church, Ontario.