Palm Sunday: “Hosanna!” “Crucify Him!” A Contradiction? 1

The Palm Sunday Liturgy opens Holy Week with two expressions:

First, “Hosanna,” which is sung at the beginning of Mass (beautifully done here by the Monks of Solesmes):

Second, the expression “Crucify Him!,” which the crowd shouted to Pontius Pilate, at Jesus’s trial on Good Friday.

Hosanna and Crucify Him. No two expressions could seem more contradictory.

Yet when we look at them with faith, we recognize that they are not opposed at all, for as the people waved palms before him, Christ, the Messiah, rode triumphantly into Jerusalem on a donkey freely resolved to mount the throne of the cross.

Therefore I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame. (Isaiah 50:7)

The cross of Jesus is not contradictory to the palms but actually a fulfillment of what they proclaimed: they gloriously inaugurated the Kingdom of Christ, which will never end.

Sign of Contradiction

Three things you should know about Palm Sunday

Fr Jason Smith


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