“Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come! Hosanna in the highest!”
With Palm Sunday comes the long reading of the Passion, this year from Mark’s Gospel, and the distribution of Palms. I can still remember standing as a child wondering "when will it be done" but also liking the fact that it was read in parts and the whole experience of Christ’s death was proclaimed. I remember the sound of the kneelers hitting the floor at the stark words “Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed His last” (Mk 15:37).
But before we get to the wondrous work of Jesus on Mount Calvary, Jesus was greeted to welcomes of Hosanna in the Highest! As we hear in the Gospel reading from Mark that opens this weekend’s Mass, “Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields” (Mk 11:8), as a way to honor and welcome Jesus the Christ. We don’t throw clothes upon the floor this weekend in the church – nor palm fronds for that matter – but we do receive and lift high palms in honor and worship of Jesus the Son of David, the Christ. How wonderful it would be if we were always so attentive to Jesus’ arrival in our life as Lord and King. How wonderful it would be if we are always found with praise of Jesus the Messiah upon our lips. How wonderful it would be if we are always quick to tend to the needs of Jesus the humble Servant-who-Saves. How wonderful indeed! I pray that the receiving of palms reminds us physically of the need to speak, sing, and serve Jesus’ praises each and every day of our Christian lives.
For those who might be interested in trying your hand at palm folding to have a keepsake to recall our call to worship the Lord Jesus every day, you might try this simple Cross – before or after Mass :). There are lots of other folds and braids available online. It is a great Catholic cultural tradition to teach to the young. It also reminds them the palms are not toys but sacramentals – physical sacred objects that point us to the Grace that flows from the Sacraments themselves and for Jesus Christ’s Incarnate presence in the world.
‘Take up our Cross & follow Him’
Holy Thursday on April 1 @ 7p
Good Friday on April 2 @ 3p
Easter Vigil on April 3 @ 8:40p
Easter Sunday on April 21 @ 8:30a, 10:30a
(Note: No 6p Mass on Easter Sunday)
Holy Family, Protected and Led by St Joseph, Pray for us.
~ Fr. Jeremy M. Gries