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Palm/Passion Sunday

April 1, 2012

JMJ

Blessed Palm Sunday!

We are entering into the most holy days of the Church year,
intensifying our preparation to unite ourselves with Jesus in His Passion and death
as He leads us through tragedy into triumph.
You will notice that we do not celebrate any saints this week or next.
Nothing may interrupt these high holy days.

The palms we receive today are blessed–they’re sacramentals (sources of grace)
that are intended to remind us of Jesus’ victory over sin and death
(palms have long been symbols of victory).
That means they must be treated with reverence.
One common practise is to make crosses of them
and tuck these crosses behind holy pictures or crucifixes hanging in your home.
Instructions for making simple palm crosses can be found here.
If you need to dispose of old palms (or scraps from making palm crosses),
they should be reverently burned or buried in a place that will not be disturbed–
not thrown away (this is true of all blessed items of devotion).

Almighty, ever-living God,
who as an example of humility for the human race to follow
caused our Savior to take flesh and submit to the Cross,
graciously grant that we may heed His lesson of patient suffering
and so merit a share in His resurrection.
Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.
(Opening Prayer for today’s Mass)

Readings:
+Mark 11:1-10 or John 12:12-16 (Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem)
Isaiah 50:4-7 (God’s noble servant is not deterred by suffering and insult)
Psalm 22:8-9, 17-20, 23-24 “My God, my God, why have You abandoned me?”
Philippians 2:6-11 (because Jesus emptied Himself, God has exalted Him)
+Mark 14:1-15:47 (Jesus’ Passion and death)

What a waste!

a woman came with an alabaster jar of perfumed oil,
costly genuine spikenard.
She broke the alabaster jar
and poured it on His head
-Mark 14:3

Wasted!

Why has there been this waste of perfumed oil?
-Mark 14:4

Wasted?

He emptied Himself
-Philippians 2:7

The alabaster bottle
of His Body
broken, poured…

the house was filled with the ointment’s fragrance
-John 12:3

Thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us to triumph,
and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere.
For we are the aroma of Christ to God
among those who are being saved
and among those who are perishing,
to one a fragrance from death to death,
to the other a fragrance from life to life.
-II Corinthians 2:14-16

God’s “waste”:
our only hope.

What “waste” have you witnessed God turn into triumph?
Do you spread the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ?
Have you noticed that this knowledge is death to some, and life to others?
Do you pour yourself out–“waste” yourself–as generously as Jesus?

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