Magnificent, therefore, was the entry of Our Lord into Jerusalem; loud acclamations accompanied Him. They would have made Him king on other occasions, but He went away and hid Himself, declining all such honors. This day, however, the whole multitude is carried away with joy; they pay Him royal homage and He allows it. Where are now the enemies of Christ? They have hid on this day, and dare not make their appearance; when they do they are quickly silenced by Our Lord Himself, who assures us that if the old and young, and especially the young, were hindered from giving vent to their jubilation, even the stones on the roadside would cry out. Branches of trees are cut down and are borne in the hands of the people. Smaller greens are strewn on the way, and a perfect carpet is made of the people's cloaks spread on the roads over which Jesus is to pass. This was the celebration of the first Palm Sunday, my dear children. Palms are now publicly blessed in the church; a procession of altar boys goes through the aisles bearing palm leaves, and everybody carries palms home to their houses to keep them because they are blessed.
Soon, however, the scene will change. Soon this enthusiasm will die out, and the enemies of Jesus will show themselves again. Those who cried out the loudest are now astonished at their boldness, and they ask themselves to what it will lead. Then they are told that reparation must be made; this dangerous man must be got out of the way; He must die to destroy His pretensions to royalty. Our Lord is shocked most of all by the instability of human affection, the ingratitude, the desertion of Him, the treachery of His friends. Yes, my dear children, one thing we must resolve, and that is, to be strong in our faith and faithful unto death to our divine Master. When you are preparing for confession or communion you are in earnest in your promises to Jesus, but soon the humor changes; you grow cold again; you become careless in your prayers and fall into sin. One day you cry out: "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who cometh in the name of the Lord! " But soon you change your mind, and think the friendship of Jesus is too tyrannical; it exacts too much of you and you Join the multitude of the wicked who mutter: " This Jesus subverts the heart of the people. We have no king but Caesar, the world, and our passions. Away with Him to the cross."
Our Lord in His triumphal entry into Jerusalem was a real king a real God. He held His enemies down by the power of His omnipotence. There is a lesson of confidence in this providence of God. Dear children, the Church has often been persecuted. Men have been ashamed of her; they have fought against her, and strong enemies they were too stronger than the Church in a worldly sense. It has often been predicted that the Church would come to ruin. You may have noticed these persecutions yourselves, dear children, in reading history. We have at least read of the powerful enemies against the infant Church; the persecuting Jews; the Komans who martyred hundreds of thousands. I conceive from this the firm conviction that the Church will stand forever. Remember that you belong to the true Church, which is constantly under the providence of God. Be faithful to her all your lives; be not cowards who will desert her under the most trivial temptation. ye of little
faith! why do ye doubt? How easily our young men are seen to fall away, if not by changing their faith, by becoming careless in the practice of it.
Our Lord enters Jerusalem, humble, kind, peaceful, sitting on an ass led by the Apostles, love depicted on His countenance. In former times, in the East especially, when a triumphal entry was made into a city, there was a great pageant. Great quantities of captured arms were conveyed in carts; banners taken from the enemy were displayed; vessels of gold and silver were tastefully carried, but especially poor captives bound with chains hand and foot were cruelly dragged along to be put to death after the festivities were over on that day of their humiliation. Not so on the day of the triumph of Our Lord. His was rather a spiritual exultation than a triumph of the world. Our Lord is peaceful and good; He could crush His enemies at any time, but He prefers to be patient and wait for their conversion. Even after they have done Him the greatest injury He does not strike them; He is ever meek and humble.
This character, you, my dear children, ought to endeavor to gain early in life. Children are prone to hasty anger and to little spitefulnesses; some have violent tempers, and in their blind rage would commit any injury, even to their friends. Kindness and goodness of heart are most beautiful characteristics in young people; docility is the most winning quality in a child's disposition. Jesus is your king and master;follow Him in the practice of virtue^ and according to this day's Gospel make His meekness a special lesson to be learned and imitated.
Source: Sermons for Children's Masses, Imprimatur 1900