Sunday Homilies by Fr. Rudolf V. D Souza

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Fr. Rudolf V. D' Souza OCD

Passion (Palm) Sunday
March 16, 2008 - Year: A
Mt 21:1-11; Is 50:4-7; Phil 2:6-11, Mt 26:14-27:66
Truly this man was God's Son

First Reading...
"The servant of the Lord said: 'The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. Morning by morning he wakens - wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught.

The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I did not turn backward.

I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.

The Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame." [Is. 50:4-7]

Second Reading...
"Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a salve, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross.

Therefore God highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." [Phil. 2:6-11]

Mt. 26:14-27:66

Congratulations dear Christians, Congrats, you are well appreciated, well accepted, you are sociable, you celebrate life, you run good institutions, schools, colleges, you are good at speaking good English, good at learning languages, but I am just warning you, you are not people of deep God-experience. One Hindu addressing Christians told this on a Centenary Celebration day. I say I love you, but I am not convinced fully that you carry your cross. He ended his reflection. 

On the wedding day, ordination day, profession day, or jubilee day, all is fine. I love, I sacrifice. But when the real cross comes, do I accept it? 

Look at the life of Jesus, fully equipped with humility and surrender to accept Gods will.

The son of man must suffer

The son of man came to give life and not to take it

The son of man came to lay down his life

There is no greater love than laying down ones life for friends. 

I want Christ for working miracles. But I am not ready to carry my daily cross. He worked miracles, but he also strongly invited his disciples to carry their daily cros.

We want Christ, but not his cross. We want a cross, but not a crucifix.

This event of Palm Sunday constitutes the one earthly triumph of Jesus' life and ministry. The crowd was following him because of the great miracle he had wrought in raising Lazarus from the dead. The sisters from Bethany and Lazarus were apparently well known. As the crowd grew in numbers, Jesus sensed that the Father was asking him to acquiesce to this acclamation. He sent ahead for a beast of burden. For the first time, as far as we know, he mounted. He was thus slightly above the crowd so that all could see him. The people started pulling down branches from the trees and throwing them in front of him. Their enthusiasm became contagious. The whole city was plunged into excitement. The crowd was waving palms, singing and proclaiming him to be the son of David, the king of Israel of times past and the father of the Messiah. The words clearly implied a divine visitation. That is why the Pharisees demanded, "Stop your disciples from crying out. They are making you equal to God." He replied, "If they are quiet, the stones will cry out." All creation was bearing witness to the coming to final term of the life of him who is the source of all that is.

The thunderous shouts and applause of the immense crowd form the background for Jesus' amazing entry into Jerusalem. When he came to the brow of the Mount of Olives, the procession stopped and Jesus wept over Jerusalem. He wept because the city could not perceive the great opportunity that it was about to lose. He was fully aware that the authorities were plotting his death and that the adulation he was receiving would soon turn to condemnation. The superficial enthusiasm of the crowd had a hollow ring.

Nothing could be worse public relations than to have the celebrity of the moment burst into tears, especially when you are trying to turn him into a king or a god. Jesus wept because of, the deep tragedy that only he had eyes to perceive. "Jerusalem" he sobbed, "if only you had known the time of your visitation. Now it is too late." Thus, the city that he loved so much was fated to undergo total destruction. It did not know the time of its divine visitation.

Jesus is the paradigm of humanity, the universal human being, God's idea of human nature with its enormous potentialities. According to the great hymn of Paul to God's humility, the divine Person of the Word, source of everything that exists, did not cling to his divine dignity or prerogatives, but threw them all away. In God there seems to be the need not to be God. In creating, God, in a sense, dies, because he is no longer alone; he is completely involved in the evolution of these creatures whom he has made so lovable.

Christ emptied himself of the divine power that could have protected him and opened himself in total vulnerability as he stretched out his arms on the cross to embrace all human suffering. In the most real sense, we too are the body of God; we too are a new humanity in which the Word becomes flesh; we too can put ourselves in the service of the divine Word. Then God is experiencing human life through our senses, our emotions, and our thoughts. Each of us can give the eternal Word a new way in which he discovers his own infinite potentiality. Thus, God knows himself in us and experiences the human condition in all its ramifications. The Word lives in us, or more exactly, lives us. We are incorporated into the new creation that Christ has brought into the world by becoming a human being. We leave behind the false self and solidarity with Adam, which is solidarity in sin, death, and human misery Jesus invites us to experience his consciousness of the Father, the Abba of infinite concern, the God who transcends both suffering and joy and manifests equally in both.

Christ on the donkey, waving aside the cheers of the crowd, is riding to his death. This is his way of revealing the heart of God once and for all in such a way that no one can ever doubt God's infinite mercy The priest says over the bread and wine, "This is my Body " The power of those words extends to each of us as Christ awakens and celebrates his great sacrifice in our own hearts saying, "You are my body. You are my blood." You, with all of humanity, are a manifestation in the flesh of the new creation.

   Click here for other Sunday Homilies 

A New book from Fr. Rudy :
Short review of the book: This book is an out come of a serious exegetical study on the important words and texts from the writings of St John of the Cross. The study deals with a short life and writings of the mystic and then does a complete study on GOD, MAN and WAYS to EXPERIENCE GOD. The book is available at: St. Joseph Church, Near Holy Cross Convent School, Mira Road East, Thane Dt. Maharashtra State - 401 107, India. Books can be ordered through email: or

The cost of the book is Rs. 125/- pp.xviii + 234, The Title of the Book is: THE DYNAMISM OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH - An Exegetical Study on St. John of the Cross, author: Dr. Rudolf V. D' Souza, OCD, MA. PhD.

Dear friend, my homilies will be posted on Thursdays and you can benefit them and if you need more resources, you could contact me on or

Let us make this ministry fruitful one so that the Word of God becomes a source of joy for me and for you and help people become more aware of its riches. You are also welcome to share your feedback with me. Thanks and God bless. 




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