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 this day, Pope Francis stated, “Today’s celebration can be said to be bittersweet. It is joyful and sorrowful at the same time. We celebrate the Lord’s entrance into Jerusalem to the cries of his disciples who acclaim him King. Yet we also solemnly proclaim the Gospel account of his Passion. In this poignant contrast, our hearts experience in some small measure what Jesus himself must have felt in his own heart that day, as he rejoiced with his friends and wept over Jerusalem.”
Our Holy Father further stated, “…as we joyfully acclaim our King, let us also think of the sufferings that he will have to endure this week. Let us think of the slanders and insults, the snares and betrayals, the abandonment to an unjust judgment, the blows, the lashes and the crown of thorns…and lastly, the way of the cross leading to the crucifixion.”
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.”
Our Holy Father has 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. Pursuant to this request, 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.