Lord, how good it is for us to be here -- Matthew 17

Browsing The Corner Office

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Apr 4, 2019

Dear Friends, 

Today is the Fifth Sunday of Lent, having you been Making Visible God’s Works, as our Lenten theme calls us to?

Very often we presume people just understand or remember certain things that are part of the routine of life, whether we are talking about our family life, our society, our religion and the list could go on and on.  With this is mind I thought I would share with you some ideas and thoughts about Palm Sunday, which we celebrate next Sunday as we begin Holy Week.  I realize some may know these basics, but this is just a little review for all of us.

What is the significance of palms and the donkey on Palm Sunday?

Palm branches are widely recognized symbol of peace and victory, which is why we use them on Palm Sunday.  The use of a donkey instead of a horse is highly symbolic; it represents the humble arrival of someone in peace, as opposed to arriving on an energized war horse.

What is the significance of Palm Sunday?

Palm Sunday is the final Sunday of Lent, the beginning of Holy Week, and commemorates the triumphant arrival of Christ in Jerusalem, days before he was crucified.  It is sometimes referred to as Passion Sunday.

Palm Sunday is known as such because the faithful receive palms, which they use to participate in the reenactment of Christ's arrival in Jerusalem.  In the Gospels, Jesus entered Jerusalem riding a young donkey, and to the lavish praise of the townspeople who threw clothes, or possibly palms or small branches, in front of him as a sign of homage. This was a customary practice for people of great respect.

A week later, Christ would rise from the dead on the first Easter.

During Palm Sunday Mass, palms are distributed and carried in a ritual procession into church. The palms are blessed and many people will fashion them into small crosses or other items of personal devotion. These may be returned to the church, or kept for the year.

Because the palms are blessed, they should not be discarded as trash.  Instead, they are appropriately gathered at the church and incinerated to create the ashes that will be used in the follow year's Ash Wednesday observance.

The colors of the Mass on Palm Sunday are red or white, symbolizing the redemption in blood that Christ paid for the world.

Please, have a blessed Lent, as you are Making Visible God’s Works!

I am looking forward to celebrating Palm Sunday and all of Holy Week with you as we prepare together for the joy of Easter.

Let us continue to pray and sacrifice for peace in our world!     

In peace and courage,

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