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From Our Little Roses

Palm Sunday Reflections

Palm Sunday Reflections with Rev. Lizzie Robbins

Rev. Lizzie Robbins reflects on Palm Sunday and its significance for Christians. She reflects on her recent return to the United States after six months in Honduras and the comfort and luxury she experienced. However, she reminds herself and her readers that Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on a borrowed donkey, as prophesied in Zechariah, was a humble and unexpected way for the King of Israel to enter his city. Rev. Robbins compares Jesus’ entry to the daily lives of the people of El Bordo in Honduras, who live in poverty but rely on their faith and kindness to survive. She notes that Jesus came to offer an alternative to the empire, not to fight it, and invites readers to celebrate Palm Sunday with the young women of Nuestras Pequeñas Rosas, who have been liberated through the ministry. Ultimately, she encourages readers to embrace a humble and magnificent life, as Jesus did.

What is the significance of Palm Sunday?

Palm Sunday is an important day in the Christian calendar as it marks the beginning of Holy Week, the week leading up to Easter. It commemorates Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey, where he was welcomed by the crowds who laid palm branches at his feet. This event fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah that the Messiah would come to Jerusalem riding on a donkey. Palm Sunday also serves as a reminder of Jesus’ selfless sacrifice and his mission to bring eternal life to humanity.

How Is Palm Sunday Celebrated?

Christians celebrate Palm Sunday all around the world. During the liturgy of the Palms, people carry palm branches or other greenery, singing hymns and waving them in the air to symbolize the crowds that welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem. Many churches also incorporate the reading of the Passion Narrative, which tells the story of Jesus’ betrayal, arrest, trial, and crucifixion. This is a solemn reminder of the suffering that Jesus endured for the salvation of humanity. In daily life, people may also observe Palm Sunday by reflecting on the Gospel story and offering prayers of thanksgiving for the blessings of peace and the hope of eternal life that Jesus brings.

In conclusion, Palm Sunday is a time for Christians to reflect on Jesus’ humble entrance into Jerusalem and his ultimate sacrifice for the sake of humanity. It reminds us of the true life that Jesus offers and the hope he brings to our daily lives. As we enter Holy Week, let us carry the message of peace on Earth and the love of our beloved leader, Jesus Christ.

Lizzie Robbins Palm Sunday Reflections

As I prepare to leave Our Little Roses and Honduras at the end of May, I am feeling a mix of excitement for what’s next and a desire to cherish my last two months with my precious sisters, the young women of Nuestras Pequeñas Rosas. The young women whose impact will reverberate throughout my life.

This week I’m back in Houston for job interviews. After my six-month absence, the United States feels… luxurious. Since arriving last week, I’ve been picked up by two rideshare drivers in Teslas. I am struck by how clean the air smells. Gone is the constant presence of armed guards that stand outside Chinese restaurants and in the lobby of grocery stores. I’ve been sleeping in a queen size bed and going to my yoga studio. It feels wonderful. I’ve started getting excited about buying furniture and art to decorate a new home. I might trade in my car.

There is nothing wrong with feeling comfortable or an appreciation of beautiful things. But what the Lord won’t let me forget this week is that Jesus rode to his fate on a borrowed donkey. The prophecy of Zechariah has come to pass: the Messiah’s kingship is ushered in not with war horses and men with swords but with a small band of people with soil-stained feet who carry with them the hope of the world riding on a donkey.

I see various farm animals on my street back in San Pedro Sula. Chickens are common. I’ve seen some goats in a grassy area chowing down a couple of times. Twice I’ve seen a huge pig, tailed by her eight or nine piglets. These animals are always unaccompanied, but they seem to know where to go home at night.

Every single day I see people from El Bordo, the poorest part of the city where the most vulnerable sampedranos live by the river in flimsy homes. Everyday people from El Bordo pass by the home in a donkey-carriage selling fruits and vegetables or offering to pick up garbage for a few lempira. They are warm people, with easy smiles who seem to know everyone they pass. The people of El Bordo work together to survive their lack of resources, the floods from the river, and the gangs that threaten the peace. Their fortitude and kindness are forged by reliance on God I cannot comprehend.

Jesus comes on a donkey for them. Jesus comes to liberate the people from all the bordos of this world: the ones caught between a rock and a hard place, the ones to use Howard Thurman’s words, “with their backs against the wall.” Jesus comes to bring liberation to the ones who have been calling out, ascending prayers like plumes of smoke that say, “Padre, por favor protege a mis hijos. / Father, please protect my children.” “Sánala, Señor. / Heal her, Lord.” And the question: “¿Cuánto tiempo más, Dios, voy a sufrir? / How much longer, God, will I suffer?”

Jesus has heard their prayers. He comes not to fight the empire but to offer an alternative to the empire. Can you imagine the faces of the Roman soldiers who would have seen Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, worshiped by the crowds with palms? Perhaps they laughed. Maybe it frightened them to see the people spreading their only cloaks onto the street to form a patchwork carpet for their crownless king.

This week I will return to Nuestras Pequeñas Rosas to celebrate Palm Sunday with 70 girls who Jesus has liberated through the ministry which you support. At home, we celebrate the prayers that have already been answered: the lives saved, the health restored, the degrees achieved, and the joy found. So prepare your palms because Jesus is coming, riding on a donkey, inviting us into a more humble and magnificent life than we know. It is in that thin place between heaven and Earth where the last become first, where the people of El Bordo are the first embraced by Our Lord.

I will give thanks to you, for you answered me *

and have become my salvation.

The same stone which the builders rejected *

has become the chief cornerstone.

This is the Lord’s doing, *

and it is marvelous in our eyes.

On this day the Lord has acted; *

we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:21-24

Palm Sunday

Our Little Roses Reflect on Palm Sunday

As we approach the end of the Lenten season, Palm Sunday Reflections bring us closer to the Passion Story of Jesus Christ. This day commemorates the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, where the people welcomed him with palm branches and shouted, “Hosanna!” However, this joyous celebration was short-lived, as Jesus knew his journey would soon lead to suffering and death.

Reflecting on this Gospel story, we are reminded of the sacrifice and love that Jesus had for us, as he willingly went through immense pain and suffering to save us from our sins. This selflessness and devotion are the values that we strive to instill in the girls at Our Little Roses, a home for vulnerable girls in Honduras.