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Blessed Palm Sunday

April 9, 2017

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).

Readings:
+Matthew 21: 1-11 (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)
+Matthew 26:14-27:66 (Jesus’ Passion and death)

The members of the crowd
anticipate
a resurrection
of the fallen
House of David
from subjection
to the military
dominance
of Rome.

The one they hail
will far surpass
their wildest dreams;
the foe He faces
more formidable,
the weapons
in His keeping
more extreme.

The lines are drawn.

The full malevolence
of hell
is poised
to strike,
to spend itself
against
the powers of
humility,
obedience
and love.

It hasn’t got
the faintest chance.

Am I focused on the wrong enemy, the one who can only kill the body, but not the soul?
How well trained am I in the use of the weapons of humility, obedience and love?

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