Grace and peace to you!
Palm Sunday or Passion Sunday begins Holy Week. It is called Holy Week because through the scriptures this week, we are brought into the historical account of Jesus’ suffering, crucifixion and death: his sacrifice and love for us that won our salvation. The liturgies this week take on a special character too. This is partly due to the focus on the passion of Jesus in the readings but also because we engage our physical senses through doing things out of the ordinary like, the reception of the holy oils, the washing of the feet, the empty tabernacle, the use of incense, the veneration of the cross, the ceremony of light with fire and candles and special readings and seasonal hymns. As we incorporate these things, it is important to realize that we are not re-enacting the historical events upon which our faith is grounded, but rather we are enabling ourselves through a fuller use of our senses to enter more deeply into the Paschal Mystery. The mystery we enter calls us to reflect upon the events of the past when God delivered his people from oppression and slavery. This mystery compels us to ponder what is now happening in our lives: to recognize the ways that God is leading us on a path of conversion and healing, deepening our faith and our personal relationship with God. Through Lent, we have encountered temptation and some of our faults have been revealed to us. Our lives have changed because God is leading us to a new way of life. This “anamnesis” or remembering-in-a-special-way bolsters our hope and confidence in God’s loving plan of salvation for our future. We know that we are never abandoned nor forgotten and we are always delivered and forgiven when we turn to God for help. My prayer is that we all grow in holiness as we enter this special week in a new and deeper way. God bless you all! +++ Fr. Peter