Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion
Today we begin the most important week of our Church year.
Today’s Gospel seems to be almost a "coming attractions" notice. We hear today of the events that we will be remembering during the coming week and especially through the beginning of the Triduum – the Last Supper, the betrayal, and the Passion and Death of Christ.
And yet we begin our Liturgy with a celebration! The Church reenacts the joyful entrance of Christ into Jerusalem. It is easy to feel a little stymied at this mixture of messages. What message can we take from this day?
Perhaps one thing we can take away from this is that Jesus willing accepts his suffering because it is the will of the Father and because a wondrous thing will happen because of his suffering. Humanity will be saved! I think WE celebrate today BECAUSE of Jesus’ Passion and death.
We would do well during this Holy Week to remember the words of St. Paul of the Cross, the founder of the Passionist Congregation:
"Meditation on Jesus Christ crucified is a precious balm which sweetens all our pains."
All of us know some degree of pain and suffering in our lives. Whether it is our own illness, the death of someone in our lives, or the disappointments and set-backs of daily life, we all suffer. As we gaze at Jesus on the Cross, our own sufferings, frailties, concerns and cares are somehow lightened. St Paul of the Cross is giving us the best remedy for our pain and that is to meditate on Christ’s suffering. The Passion and death of Jesus is the greatest act of love ever known. If we think about this, we realize that acceptance of our own problems can also be gift if we place them on the Cross. Today and throughout this coming week we celebrate this gift Christ has given us in His Crucifixion. How blessed we are!
In our second reading, the letter to the Philippians, we are again reminded of just how great is this gift of Christ’ death and how we are to respond.
"….every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord…"
So let us today give thanks and glory to Christ…let’s wave our palms high and shout "Hosanna!" Our Savior is here!
Mary Lou Butler ([email protected]) is the interim administrator at Christ the King Passionist Retreat Center, Citrus Heights, California.