Palm Sunday

04-02-2023From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. Antony Arockiadoss

Dear Family!

First of all, a word about Church’s instruction on veiling of statues and images - this is what the Roman Missal teaches us: “In the Dioceses of the United States, the practice of covering crosses and images throughout the church from [the fifth] Sunday [of Lent] may be observed. Crosses remain covered until the end of the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday, but images remain covered until the beginning of the Easter Vigil.” The Church recommends this practice to ‘heighten our senses’ and build within us a longing for Easter Sunday. This tradition can further be practiced at home - you could also cover the statues and images that are at home!

After five weeks of preparation, we enter into Holy Week. ‘Hosanna’ means ‘save us’. This is the first cry of the people as Jesus rides into Jerusalem. That’s exactly what Jesus did - he completed the race - he followed through. Jesus’ journey of the Holy Week began in his prayerful intercessions for people. His complete surrender to the Father’s will is the key to how we journey our Holy Week. Let us meditate on what the contemporary popes taught us in recent times:

Pope Benedict focusing on the procession with the palms shared, “the procession of the palms is also a procession of Christ the King: We profess the kingship of Jesus Christ; we recognize Jesus as the Son of David, the true Solomon, the King of peace and justice. Recognizing him as King means accepting him as the One who shows us the way, in whom we trust and whom we follow. It means accepting his word day after day as a valid criterion for our life. It means seeing in him the authority to which we submit. We submit to him because his authority is the authority of the truth.” —Palm Sunday, April 1, 2007

“However, faith in Christ can never be taken for granted. The reading of his Passion sets us before Christ, living in his Church. The Easter Mystery that we will relive during the days of Holy Week is always present. Today we are contemporaries of the Lord and, like the multitude in Jerusalem, like the disciples and the women, we are called to decide if we are to be with him, or flee, or just be spectators at his death. Pope John Paul II, Palm Sunday, 2002

“Jesus is pleased with the crowd’s showing their affection for him. When the Pharisees ask him to silence the children and the others who are acclaiming him, he responds: “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out” (Lk 19:40). Nothing could dampen their enthusiasm for Jesus’ entry. May nothing prevent us from finding in him the source of our joy, true joy, which abides and brings peace; for it is Jesus alone who saves us from the snares of sin, death, fear and sadness.” Pope Francis, Palm Sunday, 2016

Let us walk with Jesus and celebrate his coming into our lives to save us! Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; hosanna in the highest!

Fr. Antony