Gospel: (Luke 19:28-40)
Jesus proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem… And his disciples who had been sent went off and found everything just as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying this colt?” They answered, “The Master has need of it.” So they brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks over the colt, and helped Jesus to mount. As he rode along, the people were spreading their cloaks on the road; …the whole multitude of his disciples began to praise God aloud with joy for all the mighty deeds they had seen. They proclaimed: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.”
This Sunday we begin the holiest of Christian weeks, and we carry palms in procession with the atmosphere charged with both expectation and contradiction, with joy and soberness. For most of us Holy Week unfolds like many other weeks; we still contend with work, school, preparing meals, doing laundry, cranky folks, the usual triumphs and set backs. The readings for Palm Sunday invite us to make this an extraordinary week—a week that concentrates in a few days the ultimate meaning of our whole lives. We must slow down and make choices so that this week doesn’t go by without our taking the time to enter into its meaning. The real pity of this Holy Week would be that we miss the opportunity to empty ourselves, take up our own cross, and follow Jesus through death to new life. (Living Liturgy, p.94)
All Christian spirituality focuses on the crucified and risen Jesus. He is the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through him. The cross is the symbol of what is at the core of Jesus’ person: “The way we came to understand love was that he laid down his life for us; we, too, must lay down our lives for one another.” (1Jn 3:16) The crucified Jesus proclaims that self-giving love is at the heart of being God and at the heart of being human. St. Vincent often recommended to us to meditate on the cross as the symbol of God’s love. It is most important that we ourselves experience the love God reveals through the cross, that we have a deep confidence in a personal loving God who works actively in our lives. (Maloney, Seasons in Spirituality, p.58)
Discussion: (Share your thoughts after a moment of silence)
What will you do to find the deeper meaning of Holy Week this year?
As we enter into the mystery of the passion of Christ, we pray:
-Christ, our Savior, hear our prayer
That this Holy Week may deepen our understanding of the cross,
-Christ, our Savior, hear our prayer.
For all who suffer injustice and abuse, may we help them carry their cross,
-Christ, our Savior, hear our prayer. Amen