Palm Sunday – Your Weekly Reflection from CMMB
Palm Sunday, or Passion Sunday is the start of the most sacred week of the year, Holy Week. These are the days during which we journey with Jesus on his way of the cross and anticipate his Resurrection on Easter. During Holy Week, we prepare ourselves for Easter by prayerful reflection upon the events of Jesus’ Passion and death.
There are many ways in which we can engage in Jesus’ Passion. In Matthew’s Gospel, we can find reflections of ourselves and the many ways in which we sometimes respond to Jesus. Sometimes we are like Judas, who betrays Jesus and comes to regret it. We are sometimes like Peter, who denies him, or like the disciples, who fell asleep during Jesus’ darkest hour but then act rashly and violently at his arrest. Sometimes we are like Simon, who is pressed into service to help Jesus carry his cross. Sometimes we are like the leaders who fear Jesus or like Pontius Pilate, who washed his hands of the whole affair. Jesus dies so that our sins will be forgiven.
The events of Jesus’ Passion, death, and Resurrection are called the Paschal Mystery. Nothing can fully explain the depth of love that Jesus showed in offering this sacrifice for us. After we have examined and studied the stories we have received about these events, we are left with one final task—to meditate on these events and on the forgiveness that Jesus’ obedience won for us.
During these special times, as we search for answers and pray for the health of family, friends and others, we would like to share with you today, on Palm Sunday, Pope Francis’ address during the extraordinary Urbi et Orbi blessing he delivered earlier this week while praying for an end of the coronavirus. We hope his words bring you peace.
“When evening had come” (Mk 4:35). The Gospel passage we have just heard begins like this. For weeks now it has been evening. Thick darkness has gathered over our squares, our streets and our cities; it has taken over our lives, filling everything with a deafening silence and a distressing void, that stops everything as it passes by; we feel it in the air, we notice in people’s gestures, their glances give them away. We find ourselves afraid and lost. Like the disciples in the Gospel we were caught off guard by an unexpected, turbulent storm. We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other. On this boat… are all of us. Just like those disciples, who spoke anxiously with one voice, saying “We are perishing” (v. 38), so we too have realized that we cannot go on thinking of ourselves, but only together can we do this.
In grace and peace,
CMMB/Healthier Lives Worldwide