Pray Cry and Rejoice with and in Jesus Palm Sunday Year A
Isaiah 50:4-7 Psalm 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24 Philippians 2:6-11 Matthew 26:14-27
On the cross Jesus cries out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Matthew 27:26 RSVCE)?” With these words, Pitre explains, Jesus is expressing to His Heavenly Father all the pain, questions, requests, and suffering that men and women have ever asked and experienced in all of history. Jesus cry of pain is united to all the pain ever expressed in the world because Jesus is divine and human. As divine Jesus transcends history. As human, Jesus is in history. As human Jesus is suffering in and along with men and women as they move through time. The bridge between the human and divine are perfectly united in Jesus the one High Priest who reconciles us to the Heavenly Father in his one divine person, who reconciles time, that contains so much brokenness and pain, with eternity, with God.
To understand Jesus’ cry correctly it is important to note that the words “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me” are a direct quotation from the first verse, from the very first words of Psalm 22. Later in this psalm, the psalmist expresses trust that God has “not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him.” The psalmist also assures us that the one who suffers and turns to God “shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the Lord! (Psalm 22:26 RSVCE)”
With arms extended, Jesus invites us to unite our prayer, our pain, our bewilderment, our many questions and difficulties when confronting suffering to His cry of abandonment. When we do so in trust, in faith, we also are given the hope that one day in Jesus, one day with Jesus, those who suffer and turn to God will together as a united people praise the Lord in joy, and rejoicing.
Where is God when we suffer? – right with us as Emmanuel as God with us who through Jesus’ humanity suffers with us, who suffers with us to lead us home through the suffering to the Resurrection.
Similar to His cry on the Cross, when Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus cried out, “My Father, if it is possible, let this chalice pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will (Matthew 26:39 RSVCE).” Once again, we are encouraged to interpret these words as members of Jesus’ Mystical Body extended through time.
In crying out for the Heavenly Father to take the cup of suffering away from Him, Jesus is praying on behalf of all, of all time, who also pray for suffering to be taken away from them. Right after praying for the cup of suffering to be taken away, Jesus then prays, “nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
If we unite our cry to Jesus we, through Jesus, through his mind and his heart, will be taken through our suffering to the light of the Resurrection since God ordinarily chooses not to remove our suffering but rather to descend to our level and in love suffer with us. Where is Jesus in the midst of our suffering? – suffering with us, in pain with us and, at the same time, leading us through our suffering to eternal, perfect happiness where all are invited to praise God in rejoicing. – God Bless ~ Fr Peter
Arkangel Siete / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0), “Las tres cruces,” https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Las_tres_cruces.png.
Dale Leslie / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0), “Painting of crucifixion,” https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Light003.png.
James Tissot / Public domain, “Brooklyn Museum – The Resurrection (La Résurrection) – James Tissot,” https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brooklyn_Museum_-_The_Resurrection_(La_R%C3%A9surrection)_-_James_Tissot.jpg.
Museum of Apiculture, Radovljica / Public domain, “Kristusovo vstajenje (panjska končnica, 1874),” https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kristusovo_vstajenje_(panjska_kon%C4%8Dnica,_1874).jpg.
 Brant Pitre, “Psalm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion (Year A),” catholicproductions.com. Brant Pitre cites CCC 2606.
 Benedict XVI teaches “When the Son in the Garden of Olives struggles with the will of the Father, it is not a matter of accepting for himself a cruel disposition of God, but rather of attracting humanity into the very will of God.” “Full Text of Benedict XVI’ recent, rare, and lengthy interview,” Mary 17, 2016, catholicworldreport.com, http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Blog/4650/full_text_of_benedict_xvis_recent_rare_and_lengthy_interview.aspx.