Palm Sunday Of the Passion of the Lord “Hosanna in the Highest"
This Sunday we are beginning Holy Week 2018. Our tradition reminds us that there is nothing ordinary about Holy Week. Rather, this is a time of Holy Ritual which begins with the Blessing and Procession of Palms, followed by the first reading of the Passion of Our Lord. The ritual continues on Holy Thursday of the Lord’s Supper with the Washing of the Feet, the Procession of the Blessed Sacrament and Nightwatch of Adoration. The Ritual on Good Friday offers the second reading of the Passion, the praying of the ten Solemn Intercessions and the Adoration of the Holy Cross. The Ritual continues with the Easter Vigil beginning with the lighting of the Paschal Fire, the Easter Procession and Proclamation (Exsultet), the seven readings and responsorial psalms, the Baptismal Liturgy including the Litany of the Saints and renewal of our Baptismal Promises. It concludes with the Easter Sunday Mass of the Resurrection of the Lord.
We are invited to participate in this Holy Week as fully as possible. We are asked to bring our minds, bodies, and souls into each of the rituals that are celebrated throughout this week, as well as experience together the treasures of our tradition. Each movement of the Holy Ritual holds a blessing for us and our world. May we embrace these rituals and be immersed in blessings.
Our Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday, a day to welcome and celebrate God among us! In our gospel reading, Mark 11: 1-10, the scene is set with Jesus and his disciples approaching Jerusalem. Jesus gives a simple instruction to two of his followers, “Go into the village, and you will find a colt, bring it here. If anyone should say to you, “Why are you doing this?” reply, “the Master needs it and will send it back.” What trust the disciples had in Jesus and his words. Go, find and bring. They did just that. Their trust and actions enabled the joyful and triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem to be fulfilled. The cloaks laid upon the colt and the roadway before Jesus on the colt, the branches spread out before him and waved in joyful welcome. Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes!
Each day at Mass we hear the words and message of Jesus. Can we trust and act on them? Do we have the relationship with Jesus that will empower us to hear and act? To trust in Him and believe in His words?
Today Isaiah 50:4-7 tells us, “The Lord has given me a well-trained tongue, which I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them.” Immediately these words bring to mind the students of Parkland, Florida and how their words have empowered many to take action, to Walk Out last week and to March this week. They define their mission: “Not One More. We cannot allow one more child to be shot at school.” We join our prayers, our voices and our actions in support of their stated mission, Not One More!
As the disciples and people of Jerusalem raised their voices to welcome Jesus and celebrate God Among Us, As the children of Parkland raise their voices crying out, Not One More!
Let us, trusting in Jesus and believing in His words, raise our voices and act, and celebrate God among Us!
Sister Ellenrita Purcaro, O.P.