April 9, 2017 Palm Sunday Deacon Steve Whiteman

Homily at the start of the Procession

On Palm Sunday we remember the triumphant entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem. On that day He was celebrated as the King of Israel.

May we always recognize Him as King in our lives.

8/9 April Jan 2017                                                            Remember/Grieve/Hope                                           

Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion
When we experience the death of a loved one our grief can be overwhelming.  During the grieving process we don’t want to suppress these feelings but I think it’s helpful to put them in 3 categories:

  • Remember
  • Grieve &
  • Hope x2

Since the readings this weekend and during Holy Week are very powerful, it may be helpful to try the same process:We remember that Jesus knew what was going to happen after His triumphant entrance into Jerusalem. He knew the people would turn against Him and that he would be crucified. We can grieve the fact that the Jewish and Roman leaders turned against Him but we have hope because He forgave them all. We remember that Jesus instituted the Sacrament of the Eucharist at the Last Supper. At every Mass we have the chance to participate in this same Communion with Christ. We may grieve that Jesus’ own body and blood were offered as a perfect sacrifice for our sins but we have hope that it can lead us to a perfect Communion with Him in Heaven. We remember Jesus was fully human and fully Divine. He would have had a natural aversion to suffering like you and I but still accepted His Father’s plan of Salvation. We can grieve the pain and suffering He experienced for us but we have hope that God has prepared a place for us in Heaven.  We remember that Jesus emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave. He humbled Himself, becoming obedient to the point of death. We can grieve that he was scourged, beaten and spat upon but have hope that God has greatly exulted Him. Every knee will bend and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. The passion story reminds us of the sorrow experienced by the Blessed Virgin Mary. We can grieve Simeon’s word that told her a sword would pierce her soul but have hope in her role as our Mother in Heaven.

 Some of the last words from Jesus on the cross were: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me?” These words remind us of our Psalm today. Psalm 22 would have been written about 1000 years before the time of Jesus. It’s a story about an innocent person who suffers. He is mocked and abused by the ungodly. He turns to God in His distress and petitions God for deliverance. We can grieve that Jesus suffered rejection on the cross but have hope that God will never reject us if we follow His Son. 

  • The words of the centurion remind us that “Truly this was the Son of God”. We can grieve that He suffered for us but we have hope that our own suffering in this life will brings us closer to Him because He experienced it too. 

As we prepare ourselves for Holy Week let us remember the examples from the life of Jesus, grieve His death on the cross for us and have hope in the Resurrection at Easter.

 Remember the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. It hung between the Temple’s two holiest chambers, the holy place and the most holy place (Ex 26). The veil was a sign that God’s infinite holiness could not be approached by sinners. With Jesus’ saving death, forgiveness is secured for man, and have hope that access to heaven is reopened. This is announced by God Himself, who tears the veil from top to bottom.

  • Readings throughout the Old Testament predicted the coming of Christ and His plan of redemption. 

April 9, 2017 

Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion
At the Procession with Palms —  Gospel Mt 21:1-11

At the Mass — Reading 1 Is 50:4-7

Responsorial Psalm Ps 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24

  1. (2a) My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
    Gospel Mt 26:14—27:66

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