“Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” – Mark 11:9

For all the times we have sung or said “hosanna!” in our lives—whether as children processing with palm branches, or singing in choirs, or reading liturgy next to our loved ones in the pews—I would have assumed that it was offered as an acclamation of praise. I would have reasoned that, in its context, celebrating the “triumphal entry” of Jesus into Jerusalem marked by the waving of palm branches and the clearing of the path for his welcome, it was a term meant to express adoration.

But hosanna actually means “save us.”

Whether because of the Covid pandemic, the outcome of the election, the violent acts of racism and misogyny, or the ongoing feeling of isolation, many of us today may feel like crying out, “save us!” But what is the salvation we are seeking? From frustration? From violence? From boredom? From change?

This Sunday begins Holy Week. On Palm Sunday we remember the hopeful expectation with which the crowds welcomed Jesus, the Messiah. But by Friday, we’ll remember how the same crowd rejected him and the salvation he alone would give.

As we enter into these final weeks of Lent, anticipating the resurrection and new life Jesus brings, may we become clear about the salvation we are seeking, and the never-ending opportunities Jesus gives us to choose salvation as we turn again toward God’s love.

See you Sunday,