This Sunday we celebrate Palm Sunday and focus on the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. Palms are blessed and distributed to the faithful on this day to be used for personal devotion throughout the year. Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week during which we commemorate the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus.
Commenting on Holy Week, Pope Francis invited the faithful to use this time to draw closer to Christ. He stated, “In the course of this week, let us cling to the certainty that God can forgive every sin. God forgives everything, he can bridge every distance, and turn mourning into dancing.” He noted that, “With God, we can always come back to life.”
Our Holy Father has also asked us to focus on the sacredness of Holy Week, and take time to pray, reflect, and discern. He wants us to truly appreciate what Jesus did for us, what Jesus means to us.
In another message, Pope Francis also reminded us that the final victory of Jesus would be achieved through the passion and cross, and challenged us to choose to follow His way. He stated, “Let us ask for the grace to follow Jesus faithfully, not in words but in deeds. Let us also ask for the patience to carry our own cross, not to refuse it or set it aside, but rather, in looking to him, to take it up and to carry it daily.”
The following “Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday” prayer urges us to follow the example of Jesus:
Almighty and ever living God,
in your tender love for the human race, you sent Your Son
our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon Him our nature,
and to suffer death upon the cross,
giving us the example of His great humility.
Mercifully grant that we may also walk in the way of His suffering,
and also share in His resurrection,
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.
As we reflect on this prayer, we are strongly encouraged to participate in our upcoming liturgical services during 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 profound words of Our Holy Father and focus on following the way of Christ during this special time of grace.