“Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; hosanna in the highest.”
~ Matthew 21:9
It happened 2,000 years ago: the triumphal entrance of Our Lord into Jerusalem, so quickly followed by the way of the cross. It’s the day we remember as Palm Sunday and the start of Holy Week when faith triumphs over all suffering, including death itself.
The enduring majesty of the message invites our remembering—and reflection—for in the midst of this pandemic we are on the most important journey of faith we will ever take: the journey to salvation through death to resurrection in Our Savior, Jesus Christ. This is the week we experience the very core of our faith. And it’s a time to take stock. How are we living our faith during these moments of crisis? Are we modeling our lives on the life of Christ? Are we able to pass from joy to suffering with hope, knowing that the promise of Easter is our ultimate reward?
Palm Sunday begins our many reflections, ones we will think about all week long. During this Lent weighed down by the spread of the coronavirus we prepared ourselves to receive the Risen Lord. With the grace of God, the past 40 days or so have helped deepen our faith. The preparation is done. Today we are in a sacred place wherever we are. With Christ we give ourselves over to God.
As you begin the traditional observances of Holy Week, here’s a suggestion: Identify the moments when you feel most united with Christ. My guess is they will be the times you went out of your way to care for someone. Whenever we bring the message of hope to other people, we draw closer to Our Lord and Savior. The more we do in Christ’s name, the more our reward.
Friend, today’s Gospel reminds us: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Fellow missioner, those words refer to you and me, too. This is the week to share the promise of our faith with a world in need though prayer and good works. May God’s grace and our faith sustain us through to the resurrection!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.
Prayer for Palm Sunday
Jesus, my Lord, my King, my God
enter into my home, my heart, my life
as You entered Jerusalem
so many years ago
amid waving palms and shouts of
“Hosanna to the son of David!”
Yet you entered, O Christ my king,
not riding on some horse triumphant
but astride a lowly donkey
showing Your strength lay in service
and Your glory in humility.
May I ever walk with You, Jesus,
in times of failure no less than victory.
Help me to follow You through all
the paths leading me to life.
Above all, let me stand at the foot
of Your cross on Calvary
that I may witness how great
Your love for me and for all.
Prayer by Maryknoll Missioner, Father Joseph Veneroso