Palm Sunday is our entrance into the holiest week of the year. As a Church, we celebrate the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem with the multitudes of people going before Him and following after Him placing branches on the ground and shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David.”
However, the Palm Sunday Triumph only led to His death on the cross on Good Friday. But, we know that His death was not a failure, because it was through His passion and death that He conquered the world and entered into His Kingdom.
Sadly, Palm Sunday and Holy Week has become just another holiday week with a mostly secular attitude. What used to be a week focusing on the suffering and death of Jesus to bring about the forgiveness of sins has largely become just another week of the year. When we used to concentrate on the immense love of Christ by placing ourselves under extra penances and making sure our souls were right and filling the church on the high holy days of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil; these have all but become something of a nostalgic memory.
We have gotten to the point where we say we believe in JC, acknowledge His love for us, and we say we love Him in return, but our outward display of these attitudes doesn’t reflect the same sentiments. I’m sure many of you remember filling the church on Holy Thursday as we recalled the greatness of the gift of the Holy Eucharist as given to us by Jesus the night before He died at the Last Supper. Then, on Good Friday, I bet there wasn’t a radio or TV heard in a Catholic household especially during the hours of 12-3 and people refrained from talking so as to think of the 3 hours of suffering as Jesus hung on the cross out of love for us.
I can remember people in the aisles of church on Good Friday in my own home parish and people would weep as the men of the parish carried the corpse of Christ on a bier around the church for veneration. It’s time we return to these ideals as Catholics. Place your palm branches some place where you can always see them, especially this week.
Let the palms remind you that Christ is the King of our families, that Christ is the King of our hearts, that Christ is the only true answer to our quest for happiness and meaning in our lives. And if we do proclaim Christ as our King, let us make time for Him in our daily lives, especially beginning this holiest of weeks. Let this Holy Week be the reminder to us that He is the one with Whom we wish to spend eternity and let us show Him this by making Him the priority and primary concern of our lives. This is the only way that we will ever find true peace and happiness in our confused and complex world.
** Due to time commitments, Father Grassi is unable to take blog comments at this time. If anyone has a question of faith, please feel free to call Father Grassi at St. Thomas Catholic Church or speak to him after Mass.