Hosanna is an ancient cry for salvation. It translates as: ‘Save us! Bring about salvation!’ Imagine some people trapped in a vehicle involved in a serious accident. Their cry ‘Save us!’ captures what the Scriptures express in Hosanna.
We find this cry in the Psalm 118 where it is immediately followed by ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Thus the cry of the people for their liberation: ‘Hosanna!’ is answered when that cry still resounds.
My Dear Sisters and Brothers! As we, as the Church, shout today ‘Hosanna!’ it is not only repeating what the crowds in Jerusalem did. We, the People of God gathered in this land of the Holy Spirit at the beginning of the Third Millennium, are a portion of the human family. By our various relationships we are connected to so many people and thus we are also connected to their joys and sorrows, hopes and fears, achievements and failures which result in discouragement, confusion and resentment. From the midst of that situation, our modern situation, today on Palm Sunday, and in fact at every Mass when we sing: “Holy Holy, Holy Lord… Hosanna in the highest!’ we cry for salvation: “Save us! Bring about salvation!’
We may be overwhelmed by distort and discord which we witness in the society. We may be frightened by how countries face other countries and how the fundamental right of individuals to life has been gradually removed. Inspired by that, in unison with the whole Church spread throughout the world and with all people whose condition cries out for the hope which only Jesus Christ can fully bring, we cry out: “Hosanna! Save us! Bring about salvation!’
However our cry today is also our way of evangelising, preaching Good News. As I said before, in the Psalm 118 the cry for salvation was immediately answered. The cry of the people in Jerusalem was answered too as the Saviour entered their city for their salvation. The cry we articulate today has been also answered. The Saviour who entered the Holy City two thousand years ago hasn’t abandoned his human sisters and brothers. In the mystery of the Holy Spirit sent from his saving Death and Resurrection he offers all the salvation which is about re-establishing our broken relationship with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Thus our Hosanna is not simply about the future but about the present. Because of Jesus saving Death and Resurrection our Hosanna is joyful as it announces ‘the Salvation has come.’
If those trapped in the crashed vehicle could express their need to be rescued by crying Hosanna, upon seeing an ambulance and fire brigade arriving they could cry Hosanna again. This time it would mean ‘the rescue has come.’
In our liturgical Hosanna, today and at every Mass, we are called to be both attentive observants of what is going on in our Church and our society and believing disciples of the Lord who announce and celebrate his coming and his salvation.
Have a Blessed Holy Week and a life changing Paschal Triduum.