We may wonder why we aren’t focusing on the triumphal entry reading on this particular Sunday. While we speculated that this is used due to a lack of attendance on Good Friday so that all can hear the passion, it actually is used as part of a much older tradition where the season of Lent was a time of preparation for catechumens learning how to follow as a disciple. The lessons of Lent help us to see who Jesus is, and what following can mean.
So what does it mean to follow? According to our verse, Simon of Cyrene is a very good example: it means to carry a cross, possibly one we didn’t choose for ourselves and maybe something we would rather avoid. On the original Palm Sunday the people shouted, “Hosanna” which (we were surprised to discover) originally meant “Save us.” And Jesus does just that. Part of that process can mean carrying a burden that, while heavy on us, may also be beneficial in helping us to grow in a life of faith. In carrying our cross, God is present with us, suffering with us and walking with us on our journey.
Lord, when my burdens become heavy, help me to resist the temptation to drop them. Give me the strength to continue onward so that I may learn and grow from them. Amen. — LGR