S e n t i r e C u m E c c l e s i a

"To keep ourselves right in all things, we ought to hold fast to this principle: What seems to me to be white, I will believe to be black if the hierarchical Church thus determines it. For we believe that between Christ our Lord, the Bridegroom, and the Church, His Spouse, there is the one same Spirit who governs and guides us for the salvation of our souls..." - Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius [365]

Friday, March 14, 2008

Palm Sunday Reflections: "Hosanna!"

We begin Holy Week today, by celebrating what we call Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion. We gather in our parishes and during the Liturgy, we have our palms and branches blessed, reminiscing the triumphant entry of Jesus in Jerusalem on the way to His passion, death, and resurrection. And in the Mass, we listen to the quite long narrative of how he was condemned by the Sanhedrin, made to suffer so much pain by carrying the heavy cross, crucified and finally died a gruesome death.

Palm Sunday brings to our memories the fleetingness of human decision. The Gospel accounts which we will hear during the Mass (the first is during the blessing of the Palms and the Second during the Proclamation of the Gospel) suggest to us how indecisive man can be. In the Rite of Blessing, we hear of the people acclaiming Jesus as the Holy One of God, shouting their praises to Him: "Hosanna in the Highest!" Yet, in the Gospel (Liturgy of the Word), we hear the same people crying out, no longer in praise but in jeers: "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!"

As we enter into to the mysteries of Christ's Passion, Death, and Resurrection, it might be helpful to reflect on our own inconsistencies and indecisiveness. How we have praised the Lord in certain moments and how we jeer and disown him in other moments. And we pray that we may truly be faithful to Him till the very end. Amen.


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