Palm Sunday. The last Sunday of Lent and the beginning of Holy Week. Mass begins with the blessing of palms that are distributed to the faithful. We do this as a means of connecting us with those who welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem, “When the great crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, they took palm branches and went out to meet him and cried out: ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, [even] the king of Israel’” (Jn 12:12-13).
If we put ourselves within the readings of Mass, walking and sitting alongside the apostles, we can experience the high of Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem, the peace of sharing the Passover supper, and the low of his scourging and crucifixion. We don’t have to use much of an imagination to sense what the apostles were feeling when they rolled the stone in front of the tomb in which Jesus had been laid. Where is God in that moment?! Where is God today?!
With all that has been and is currently going on in the world: the pandemic, racism, mass shootings, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it is natural to ask where God is in all this. We might be inclined to hide ourselves away like the apostles did those uncertain days between Jesus’ death on the cross and his resurrection. Whereas the apostles feared those three days what the future held, despite all Jesus told them, we know the outcome. We do not have to fear. But we still may need to be reminded to put our trust in Jesus.
Those on the road to Jerusalem welcoming Jesus as a triumphant warrior were expecting a Messiah who would bring back political glory and economic power to all Israel. They were expecting another King David who would free the Jews from Roman rule. What they got, and what we have, is something – someone – so much greater. Jesus, the Messiah, is our savior!
I encourage you to participate as much as possible this week in our liturgies, the Mass of the Lord’s Supper Thursday evening, the Passion of the Lord on Good Friday, and of course the Easter Vigil Saturday evening. Check this week’s bulletin (p. 4) or the parish website for times.
Praying you and your family have a blessed Holy Week!
In the peace of Christ,