Reflections on Palm Sunday
Today we recall the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem. His arrival is accompanied by the excitement of the pilgrims who have come to celebrate the Passover shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David!” Yet we know that it won’t be long before that excitement fades. Already now among the crowd, some Pharisees ask Jesus to tell the people to be quiet, to stop the shouts of praise. Jesus simply replies: “If they were to keep silence, I tell you the very stones would cry out”.
These past weeks of Lent we had the opportunity to renew and strengthen our relationship with Jesus Christ. Hopefully the excitement with which we welcomed Jesus into our hearts as we began the journey on Ash Wednesday has not faded. During this time we have united our hearts and minds to His as we made attempts to renew ourselves in body, mind and spirit. We have confronted the sins and temptations that we struggle with and hopefully have made a clear resolution to at least begin to change.
Now, our journey leads us to Holy Week. Again, we must not let the excitement fade. Today, as we cry out “Hosanna to the Son of David”, we are invited to go up to Jerusalem with Jesus to unite ourselves with Him. Jesus’ journey took Him from the exuberance of His entrance into Jerusalem to the suffering and passion that was waiting for Him on Mount Calvary. Jesus accepted the human limitations that were placed on Him. The Second Reading at today’s Mass from the Letter of St. Paul to the Philippians reminds us that we must have the same attitude of Christ. As we reflect on the Passion, on Jesus’ suffering and death, we are invited to have the same attitude of Christ, the attitude that allowed Him to accept weakness, suffering and defeat. We are invited to become poor, to accept the inner poverty of our own human condition. Jesus emptied Himself. As we journey with Him, let us empty ourselves for it is only when we are empty can God fill us with His loving presence.
I want to extend a special invitation to all parishioners to continue your journey with Jesus Christ by participating in the Holy Week Services. As Christians, the events that we commemorate these next few days tell the story of our faith and give meaning and life to what it is we profess to be true. Please make these days a priority by joining our community of a faith for the continuation of the journey.
May the grace and peace of Christ be with you this Holy Week!
Father Jim Volkert
** Please consider attending Palm Sunday Vespers this afternoon at 4:00 PM. at St. Mary Church. This is a perfect, peaceful way to enter into the solemnity of Holy Week. Join us!