Many people would have died on that most dreadful of days in human history.

But only One died with them.

Two of them we know of, if not by name; crucified on either side.

But only One died alongside them.

Many knew this death was coming; watching along the path to Calvary.

But only One died for them.

He had come to Jerusalem deliberately, knowing what would transpire.

But only He would die for those who first cheered, and then jeered.

The prophets had foretold that he would suffer: torn at, spat on, struck, tortured.

For only He could die for those who rejected him.

The elite of his day could not stand his presence, and wanted only his demise.

But He was the only one who would forgive them.

Beloved of the Father, and obedient to the last.

Only He knew the full cost.

His mission had always been to stand in for all people, sinners that we are.

The only One who would do so, for our sake.

To forgive, to heal, to save was his eternal calling.

The only One who could die for all, as one of us.

On Calvary, that dreadful day, a life needed to be given to pay the price.

But only One could be given, so as to redeem the world.

Jesus Christ.

Archbishop Peter A Comensoli delivered this homily at the Palm (Passion) Sunday Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral.