Isaiah 42:1-7 – Psalm 27 – John 12:1-11
The next three days are a kind of preparation for our entry into “The Paschal Triduum” the three most holy days of our Church year. This is a time for us to put aside our regular activities and tasks and focus on the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus.
Yesterday we celebrated Passion Sunday – what we used to call “Palm Sunday” – and we had exceptionally large crowds of people in attendance. We gathered outside by the Lourdes Shrine and a ways from the Church. Wehad more dthan enough palm branchces for everyone to take as many as they wanted. We had more ttan enough to decorate inside the church and around the altar in the sanctuary. There was no way anyone could miss that this was Palm Sunday!
We had received a whole truck load of palm branches and there were more than enough to decorate around the “altar” and even line the center in the Church.
I had stripped some of the fronds and had a larvase to hold these little pieces of the palms. But our people weren’t interested in those little, tiny leaves. They began to pick up the larger palm branches and break off a significant part of the ends so that they had something large enough to wave during the procession intothe churh In so many ways our congregation was acting out what the people in the time of Jesus did with their loud cries of, “Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna to the King.” But we also know that these same people who tried to make Jesus their King would later be the ones shouting for His death, “Crucify Him!”
This is why it is so important for us to look at yesterday’s celebration as being just the beginning of the story and how important it is to go through this week of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday with the Great Vigil of Christ triumph over death as we celebrate the Resurrection.
I was somewhat disappointed when I asked one of our more “regular” parishioners if she wanted to sign up for one of the scripture readings of Holy Week. Her response was, “Oh, Brother D we’re not going to be here. You know, this is one of the longest weekends in the year. We get off for Good Friday as well as Easter Monday. So we’re taking advantage of the chance to get away for a holiday.”
We have to ask ourselves: “How important is our involvement with “church?” We need to act out our exuberance with the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem; celebrate His gift of His Body and Blood and then, too, be the ones who shout, “Crucify Him!” but also stay around for the Resurrection. Three Holy Days that bring meaning to our own lives of faithfully following Jesus; stumbling along the way and experiencing deaths in one way or another and THEN celebrating “Resurrection!” We shouldn’t miss any part of this fundamental mystery of our faith. Amen!