Palm Sunday: A Reflection on Hospitality, Power, and Hope

Palm Sunday: A Reflection on Hospitality, Power, and Hope

Palm Sunday, a day that may hold different meanings for many Australians, carries profound significance for Christians worldwide. Beyond the association with the start of the football season, Palm Sunday marks the beginning of a week of reflection on Jesus Christ. It culminates in the commemoration of his death on Good Friday and his resurrection on Easter Sunday. Palm Sunday signifies Jesus’ humble entry into Jerusalem, a city central to Jewish faith. However, this seemingly insignificant event holds deep reflections on themes of hospitality, power, and hope. In this article, we will delve into these reflections, exploring the parallels between Jesus’ experience and the plight of refugees today, and finding solace in the transformative power of hope.

Jesus’ Entry into Jerusalem: The Power of Humility:

Imagine it: a donkey, a few followers, and a raggle-taggle crowd singing and waving palm fronds. Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem may have appeared mocking and frivolous to some. But beneath the surface, this humble procession spoke volumes about the nature of power and the values Jesus embodied. It occurred during a feast celebrating the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt, evoking heightened hopes and fears of revolt. Yet, Jesus’ gesture of riding on a donkey and associating with the marginalized signaled something entirely different. It was a radical act of humility, challenging the prevailing notions of power.

In our present world, the plight of refugees lies at the heart of this intersection between power and vulnerability. Just as Jesus sought refuge in the hospitality of small, powerless people, many individuals today are forced to flee their homelands, seeking protection elsewhere. They experience the same abuse of power that Jesus encountered during the final week of his life. On this Palm Sunday, as we join Jesus’ entry into the city of power, we are called to reflect on the hospitality we extend to those in need.

The Call for Hospitality: Refugees and the Little Ones:

If Jesus were to enter our world today, he would undoubtedly connect with the plight of refugees. These individuals, displaced from their homes, encounter a harsh reality of persecution, violence, and uncertainty. Just as Jesus sought refuge and hospitality, we are called to extend the same to those who seek our nation’s protection. Our response to refugees must be rooted in compassion, justice, and a recognition of their humanity. They ask for freedom from imprisonment, a fair hearing of their cases, and cooperation with other governments to address the root causes of displacement.

As Christians, we must remember that Jesus’ message of love and compassion extends to all, regardless of nationality or background. Our faith calls us to embrace the vulnerable and marginalized, just as Jesus did during his time on earth. Palm Sunday serves as a poignant reminder of our responsibility to provide hospitality and support to those in need.

The Abuse of Power: Lessons from Jesus’ Passion:

Palm Sunday also invites us to reflect on the abuse of power that Jesus faced during his final week. The religious and civil authorities conspired against him, leading to his crucifixion. In our present world, we witness similar abuses of power that perpetuate the suffering of refugees. The plight of those displaced by war, conflict, and exclusion highlights the consequences of political decisions made without considering the human reality of those affected.

As Christians, we are called to stand against the misuse of power and advocate for justice and compassion. We must challenge systems that perpetuate violence and exclusion, working towards a world where the dignity and rights of all individuals, including refugees, are honored and protected.

Hope in the Face of Despair: Easter’s Transformative Message:

While Palm Sunday depicts Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem as an apparently futile and tragic event, Christians recognize it as a necessary step towards the ultimate victory of Easter Sunday. The resurrection offers hope and transforms what seemed like defeat and despair into a message of triumph and renewed faith. In the same way, we can find hope amidst the challenges we face today.

As we reflect on the journey from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, we are reminded of the transformative power of hope. Just as Jesus’ resurrection brought forth new life and renewed purpose, we too can find strength and inspiration to address the pressing issues of our time. By embracing hope, we can work towards building a more compassionate and just society, where the rights and dignity of all individuals are upheld.


Palm Sunday, beyond its association with football season beginnings, holds deep reflections on hospitality, power, and hope. Jesus’ humble entry into Jerusalem challenges our understanding of power and calls us to extend hospitality to those in need, particularly refugees. The abuse of power Jesus faced during his final week echoes the injustices faced by refugees today. However, we find solace in the transformative message of Easter, where hope triumphs over despair.

As Christians, we are called to embody the values of compassion, justice, and hospitality. We must advocate for the rights and dignity of refugees, working towards a world where hospitality prevails over hostility and power is used for the betterment of all. This Palm Sunday, let us reflect on Jesus’ journey and recommit ourselves to the pursuit of a more inclusive, compassionate, and hopeful world.

Through our actions, we can ensure that Palm Sunday becomes more than just a name associated with the start of the football season. It becomes a day of reflection, compassion, and a renewed commitment to the values Jesus embodied.