Dear friends! You have a good news. I promise to give you a very shot homily. Every year on Palm Sunday we hear the gospel account of the passion according to one of the other three evangelists. This year we hear from Luke.
I would like to point out three details of Luke gospel that are unique to him. First of all Luke stresses Jesus’ innocence. The Roman governor was the only person in Judia at the time of Jesus who could legally condemn anyone to death. That governor, Pontius Pilate, a man who was noted for his cruelty and who was eventually removed from office by Rome because of his cruelty declared Jesus innocent in all four gospels. But unlike other gospels, St. Luke tells us Pilate declared Jesus innocence, not once or twice but three separate times.
Also, it’s only Luke who tells us about the incident with Herod. Herod just happened to be in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover. Although Herod was hoping Jesus would work some miracle, he ended up treating Jesus with contempt when Jesus didn’t respond to him. Luke tells us Herod too, found no charge against him and he sent him back to Pilate.
It’s only Luke who tells us about the criminal who was crucified with Jesus who declared: “we have been condemned justly…but this man had done nothing wrong.”
Luke has the centurion declare, “This man was innocent beyond doubt.”
The innocent Jesus suffered mocker, violent abuse, injustice and rejection by his own people. If we were there, would we have been among those who honored him with palms and Hosannas. Or would we have been among those calling for his execution. Or would we simply have been, as many are in our world today, indifferent to it all?