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April 4th, 2004  Palm Sunday (Second Passion Sunday)
Catholic Homilies
April 4th, 2004

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Palm Sunday (Second Passion Sunday)


  Usually homilists and congregants alike emphasize Holy Week and the Triduum at the end of the week as memorials of events in the life of Jesus. While this is certainly a legitimate  perspective, it tends to miss the point that this most important week is less oriented to the past and more oriented to the present and the future, our present and our future. Palm Sunday, for example, indeed recalls the fleeting triumph before rejection in the life of Jesus, but, perhaps more important, it also interprets the triumphs and rejections in our own lives, especially the rejections by those we love and to whom we have given the most (particularly our children). No good deed goes unpunished, it is said. That was true of Jesus. It is true of us. We must learn to accept rejection as Jesus did. Praise and rejection are among the natural and inevitable rhythms of life.

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  Once there was a woman stock broker who presided over a very successful mutual fund. It was a highly speculative fund and identified as such. It made, as the teens would say, tons of money, gaining twice as much as the Dow during its first year. The woman was a hero to everyone but rivals in her own company. Many investors were ecstatic about her skills as fund director. Then the Asian financial crisis came along and battered everyone but especially those who had taken risks with speculative funds. Much, but not all, of the profit was wiped out. The fund director received hate mail, especially hate e-mail (which tends to be the nastiest of all), vicious phone calls, and even threats on her life. Her rivals in the company chortled with glee. However the decline stopped, the market stabilized, and then began to climb again. Many investors ignored its revival and its return to its former success. You let us down, they argued. Investment is for the long term, the woman pleaded. That argument did not satisfy those who wanted immediate gains without any risk of loss. That apparently was what “speculative” meant to them. Jesus knew all about those kinds of people.

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That apparently was what “speculative” meant to them. Jesus knew all about those kinds of people
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