Yesterday we learned that Palm Sunday commemorates Lamb Selection Day. The people were instructed to procure their unblemished male lamb and tie it up outside their home for 5 days. Why? I'm glad you asked!
The male lamb, or ram, was a sacred animal in the Egyptian culture. When a temple was built to an Egyptian god, often the road leading to that temple was lined with large Rams carved of stone. Look up images of Egyptian temples and you'll often see rows of large, carved rams. They guarded the entrance to the temple.
So it appears that God wanted them to keep the animal tied outside their homes so their Egyptian neighbors would notice that they had a sacred animal. The Egyptians were probably wondering why the Hebrews wanted one of their sacred animals as a pet.
As Holy Week continues we'll talk more about the unblemished male lamb.
Today's Readings: Look Them Up!
Isaiah 42:1-7 Prophecy of the Servant of God who will bring forth justice
Psalm 27: The Lord is My Light and My Salvation, Whom Should I Fear?
Gospel: John 12:1-11 Mary (Martha's sister) anoints Jesus feet with costly perfume
At Pope Francis' Palm Sunday Mass, he encouraged us to recognize Jesus as a Servant, and to become servants ourselves.
Today's first reading from Isaiah begins with the line, "Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased..." And "he will bring forth justice...."
This is one of 322 prophecies in the Old Testament that tells about the Anointed One (Christos in Greek, Messiah in Hebrew) of Israel who will come to save the people.
In contrast to this Anointed One who is just, our gospel reading today gives a portrait of Judas, the betrayer. He was a thief, and stole money from the gifts given to Jesus to support his ministry. And, of course, we know that Judas' hunger for money caused him to betray our Lord for 30 pieces of silver.
There will always be those who take advantage, steal, treat people unjustly and wage war. BUT.... our Psalm today tells us that the Lord is our refuge, and no matter what happens, even though 'war be waged upon me....Even then I WILL TRUST !
We're all dealing with this pandemic... and we're all praying. After sharing yesterday that my daughter, Dawn, has the virus, I learned that her husband now has symptoms as well. I received many emails with offers of prayer for my family. I also received many messages about other parishioners' loved ones who are being affected as well.
"Though war be waged upon me, even then will I trust!" (Psalm 27)
Let's spend this Holy Week TRUSTING GOD, AND PRAYING FOR ONE ANOTHER AND OUR FAMILIES!
In Christ's Peace,