palm sunday

Ask any Catholic about Palm Sunday, and two things will probably come to mind – the look, smell, and feel of palm branches, and the long Gospel reading of the Passion of Jesus. (The former has kept many a small pair of hands busy during the latter!)

The liturgy of Palm Sunday is a mood-swing of emotions. It begins with the distribution and blessing of palm leaves. Our church is usually festooned with larger branches in the sanctuary. The lovely greens contrast with the red banners hung from ceiling to floor. We begin with the gospel story of Jesus’s triumphant entrance into Jerusalem. He’s welcomed with waving branches and a joyous chorus of Hosannas. Ah, all is well.

But moments later we stand for the reading of the Passion. Today, it was from the Gospel of Matthew. The familiar story is usually narrated by several readers and the priest. We listen to the betrayal of Judas. We are there at the Passover meal, the last supper of Jesus. We are with him in the heart-wrenching hours in Gethsemane. His disciples pledge their loyalty, yet are unable to even stay awake with him. We then witness the arrest, trials, and his horrible death on a cross.

We go from a celebrity`s grand entrance into a bustling city, to a common criminal`s execution on its outskirts. It`s a sad, solemn story. Yet, it`s one that we must experience at its deepest before we can celebrate the joys of Easter.

And, so we enter into Holy Week…

3 thoughts on “palm sunday

  1. I thought long and hard yesterday about not being someone who would scream “crucify him”. It bothered me but I understood. What really bothered me was the American lectern who put on an English accent to read. My mother had to sit down after a while and yes, it was vastly entertaining to watch what the kids were doing. And so we enter Holy Week…

  2. The meaning of the story really comes to life when we try to place ourselves into it. Who do I identify with? How would I respond? I`d like to think that I`d be one of the true friends, bravely showing my support and love despite the danger. But, I know what a coward I am…sigh…

    Thanks for taking the time to share your own experience. Here`s to Holy Week!

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