On the Road Palm Sunday

150 150 St. Mary St. Catherine of Siena

For some time now we have followed Jesus in His determined journey toward Jerusalem. His friends and family urged Him to stay away from there – the threats to His life were real and becoming more and more evident. In spite of that, Jesus makes His way into Jerusalem and on this day, one recorded in history and commemorated throughout Christendom, He enters in triumph to the acclaim of the adoring palm-waving crowds. On this day, few could have imagined how the week would turn out. In five days, many of the same crowd would be shouting for his death. What happened? How could things have changed so dramatically and so swiftly?

Today begins Holy Week, the most sacred week in our religious calendar. It is the week when we embrace the deepest mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is Risen, Christ will come again! It is a week when all of us are called upon to look at our relationship with God, and wonder how it is going. And relationship seems to be the right word.

Relationships at their root are matters of the heart, and it is the heart to which God speaks. Oh we can experience God in and through so many of our other senses and if our experience stays at that level, the heart remains untouched. But this is the week that is about the heart. The entry of Jesus into Jerusalem is clearly His choice in the face of grave danger. His choice in order to take upon Himself all of the forces of evil: violence, jealousy, greed, power and death and conquer them.

On Thursday Jesus gathers with His disciples and friends for an intimate Passover meal. At that table, He gives us the example of the great teacher. He washes the feet of His disciples and instructs them to follow His example in their life and ministry. After, He establishes the gift beyond measure – the Eucharist. Taking bread and wine, He changes them to His Body and Blood and gives His very self to them to eat. Following His teaching, the Church has been celebrating the Mass ever since.

On Friday, Jesus endures His suffering and death, carrying His cross to Calvary. There on that hill in the shadow of Jerusalem, He embraces His death as He
forgives His murderers. God’s punishment for those who have tortured Him is forgiveness.

The world is bathed in new light on Easter morning as we celebrate Christ’s victory over death. We proclaim with Christians throughout the world, HE IS RISEN!

Is this week one to be observed like any bystander? Or is it to be lived as a participant? You and I are called upon this year to LIVE this week. To embrace it: to pray, to celebrate, to sing, to meditate, and most of all, to love. This is the week to open our hearts and find, again, the invitation to follow Jesus into Jerusalem. There, we will find our reason to walk in hope and the fuel of our love.

This week is holy and it is about a relationship: between you and Jesus.

Fr. Ronan

Help Needed for Easter…
On Holy Saturday morning after Morning Prayer at 9, we need some help
getting the church ready for Easter. We will un-pack and organize flowers
and arrange candles. So, please plan to stop by to give us a hand. Many
hands make light work. So, come on over.

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord –
April 9/10, 2022

In the prelude to today’s great Passion Narrative, Saint Paul reminds us that we find our hope in the “emptiness” and “humility” of Christ
Jesus; a life that led to the cross, but through the cross, to glory and exaltation.
The way is not easy. Good stewards know that it requires a willingness to lay aside all rights of personal privilege; emptying ourselves in the service of others;
embracing values different from the values of the world.
It requires an understanding that to be “in Christ” means to be a servant because Christ came into the world, not as Lord but as servant.
What crosses are we willing to carry?
What worldly values we are willing to forego in order to share Christ’s glory?