Well guys, I’m going to be honest with you: 

I’ve had the worst Lent of my entire life.

I didn’t do a whole of fasting… I’ve actually been pretty lazy and indulgent.

I didn’t really step it up with almsgiving… If anything, I’ve spent way too much money on myself the past 40 days.

I’ve still been praying every day, but it has felt VERY distracted and dry… which, of course, can and often is totally beyond our control — but it can also be the result of our own lack of love and devotion, which I know has been my case.

So yea… not gonna lie: It’s kind of been the worst Lent ever.

If any of that describes you, as well — if you feel like you’ve had a pretty lackluster Lent — then here’s the deal:

Don’t be afraid! Don’t be discouraged!

Because look!

Here comes Jesus, riding into town…!!!

He’s arrived! He’s coming! As the prophet Zechariah one foretold: “Behold, your king is coming to you, a just savior is he — humble, and riding on a donkey.”

The palm branches are swaying.

The crowds are rejoicing.

The chant goes up: Hosanna! Hosanna!

As Pope Benedict XVI pointed out, this word “Hosanna” was originally an “urgent supplication, meaning something like: ‘Come to our aid!’”

And that’s PRECISELY what Jesus is coming for!

He’s riding into town to come to our aid — to come and FIGHT FOR US!

Listen up:

He’s going to come and FIGHT FOR YOU!

Do you believe that? Like REALLY believe? That you’re worth fighting for? Even if you did have a terrible Lent. Even if you’re still stumbling around, falling into sin, losing to temptation in the same way over and over again… 

Do you know how far God is still willing to go to fight for you? 

That scene from the book of Exodus comes to mind here, when the Israelites had their backs against the Red Sea, and Pharaoh and his army was hurtling down upon them… and they all started to lose hope saying to Moses: “What have you done to us? Why’d you bring us all the way out here only to die?” 

And Moses responds with those incredible words: “Do not fear! Stand your ground and see the victory the Lord will win for you today… The Lord will fight for you; you have only to keep still.”


That’s what Palm Sunday is all about. Jesus, the perfect Son of God, comes to win the battle for us. — It’s all about Him and His Victory.

Here’s some amazing news, y’all — Listen, and be free:

Lent is not about you.

Lent is not an annual project for personal self-improvement. 

Lent is not a self-help program!

Lent is all about the events that unfolded during that Holiest of Weeks which we as a Church are about to enter into once again together:

When Jesus came to the Holy City of Jerusalem to wage an epic battle…to stage the showdown to end all showdowns — When he came to FIGHT… not against political and religious powers. Not against Pontus Pilate and the Romans, not against Judas Iscariot his betrayer, not even against the chief priests, the pharisees or the scribes who managed to get him sentenced to death… No…

Jesus is riding in on a humble little donkey to do battle with our actual enemies. Our most ancient, and most formidable foes — the enemies we never stood a chance against on our own:

Death…Sin…and the devil.

How dark it looked… how hopeless! 

But then… here comes Jesus riding in on a donkey with absolute confidence. With divine determination…to FIGHT FOR YOU.

The all-time greatest scene in cinematic history comes to mind here… a scene that still gives me chills no matter how many times I’ve watched it: 

The Ride of the Rohirrim in the Lord of the Rings.

Just when the battle seemed lost, there comes that piercing sound of horns in the distance, and you see King Theoden leading the massive host of Rohan out, over the horizon as the morning sun begins to rise.

He looks down at the vast enemy army before him. He sizes them up. He knows the sacrifice ahead: But still he courageously stirs up the troops: “Forth, and fear no darkness! Arise! Arise riders of Theoden!”

The reason that scene is so incredibly moving is that EVERYBODY knew in their heart that King Theoden was already victorious. Just by showing up! Just by riding into the battle, he conquered. The forces of evil knew it. The riders following him into war knew it. This was his victory march, even as he rode to his own death!

“Spears shall be shaken, shields shall be splintered! A sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises!”

On THIS red day — on this Palm Sunday — Jesus our King rides into victorious battle and to his glorious death… But what are his weapons?

The Sword of the Spirit… Obedience to the Father’s will…Washing of feet. Bread and Wine… A chunk of wood… Some nails… His own Blood…

And so Holy Week begins:  “Forth and fear no darkness!”