This Sunday we celebrate Palm Sunday, and we focus on the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. In our faith tradition, Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week during which we commemorate the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus. Palms are blessed at Mass and distributed to the faithful to be used for personal devotion throughout the year. As we know, this week is the holiest week in the Church year.
In a past Palm Sunday homily, as reported by EWTN News, Pope Francis, commenting on this holiest of weeks, stated, “ Beloved, let us set out with faith this Holy Week, in which Jesus suffers, dies, and rises again.” He noted, “In these holy days, in our homes, let us stand before the Crucified One – look, look at the crucifix, the fullest measure of God’s love for us, and before the God who serves us to the point of giving his life, and let us ask for the grace to live in order to serve.”
Pope Francis also acknowledged that we live in difficult and uncertain times due primarily to the sustained impact of the COVID-19 virus, which has limited, in certain ways, our participation in liturgies and other services. He stated, “People and families who cannot participate in liturgical celebrations are invited to gather in prayer at home, also helped by technological means.”
The following prayer titled “A Prayer for Palm Sunday”, provided by “Psalm91.com” can help us focus spiritually at this time:
On this day of great rejoicing, when we welcome You as our King and Savior, we also wake in the shadow of Your cross.
Hosanna we cry!
Blessed are You who come in God’s name to save us.
Strengthen our faith on this Palm Sunday so that when the time comes to carry the cross we might still call out to You with heartfelt praise.
Give us the grace and courage to follow You this Holy Week from death to resurrection, from darkness to the fullness of light.
We need You, Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior.
As we reflect on this prayer, Our Holy Father invites us to share in some small way in the suffering of Christ during this Holy Week, so that we may one day share in his glory.
As we begin Holy Week, please carefully review the schedule of our Masses and our other liturgical services for the week and plan to participate to the extent possible. Details can be found in the Parish bulletin and on the Parish website. Today, as we celebrate and experience the joy of Palm Sunday, as we shout “Hosanna”, we are challenged to heed the words of Our Holy Father and strive to embrace a spirit of reverence and service as we continue on our journey of faith.