Palm Sunday Message
April 3, 2020
Peace and all good things to you!
Our unique and very challenging Lenten journey has now brought us to the holiest week of the year. A week in which Catholics and Christians throughout the world remember and celebrate the events that brought us the saving gift of salvation through the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus.
It goes without saying that we as a parish community are deeply disappointed that we will not be able to celebrate the beautiful liturgies together in our Church that are part of these sacred days. But yet their deepest meaning for all of us are still intact and certainly can be part of our prayer in our “domestic churches.”
We begin with Palm Sunday – remembering Jesus’ festive entrance into Jerusalem. The people welcomed him with shouts of “Hosannas” and “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” – waving palm branches in His honor.
If the weather is good this Sunday, maybe this might be a healing day to go outside and drink in the beauty of Spring and imagine what that first Palm Sunday looked like. We can then offer our own prayer of adoration to Jesus our Lord and King and thank God for the beauty of all creation.
As you might remember, the tone of the Palm Sunday Mass changes quickly after the procession when the Passion is proclaimed. Each of the gospel writers record the events of Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross. This year St. Matthew’s version will be read. If you have the opportunity, pick up your bible and pray through the events that it describes (Matt. 26:14-27:66). Maybe this is something you could do as a family-dividing it up into different parts for several people to read.
Another prayer experience for Monday and Tuesday of Holy Week would be to read St. Mark and St. Luke’s accounts of the Passion. Each of them have different nuances and insights into Christ’s journey to Calvary.
Wednesday in Holy Week is often referred to as “Spy Wednesday” since the gospel on that day (Matt. 26:14-25) speaks about Judas beginning to look for the opportunity to betray Jesus and hand him over to the Jewish religious leaders. It is a chilling story and reminds all of us how important it is to always be faithful to the Lord and to one another.
I hope these thoughts might help all of us experience the liturgical meaning of these first days of Holy Week in our homes. We will post some reflections for Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday mid-week. In addition, please make use of other prayer opportunities that we have on our website and Facebook Page.
Each year in my homily on Palm Sunday, I always make a fervent plea that all of us will do our best to make Holy Week a sacred time. I know that in “more normal years” that is not always an easy thing to accomplish. Vacations, Spring Breaks and a multitude of activities and sport events offer a lot of competition for our time. Obviously this year is much different. For all of us during these past several weeks, our prayer and loving concern for one another have taken on a new importance in our daily lives.
May this Holy Week of 2020 be a time of deepening our hope and trust in God. His presence as our Good Shepherd is with us day after day as we deal with fear, frustration and pain that the Coronavirus is bringing to all of us. This week is literally all about God’s love and redemption from all suffering and evil. God wants all of us to experience healing and protection – and His grace has been working through all of us as we do our very best to take good care of ourselves and one another.
Let’s continue to pray for one another as a parish family and remember this week St. John’s powerful words:
“For God so loved the world that He sent His Son Jesus
not to condemn us but to give us the gift of everlasting life.”
Return to All Letters