Sunday, April 1, 2012

Palm Sunday

Holy Week, the most solemn and intense period of worship in the Christian faith, begins with Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion (the full name), the Sunday before Easter. In spite of the spiritual gravity of Holy Week, it begins with joy.  The Church celebrates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem and the Church begins her commemorative pilgrimage with her Lord on His way to Calvary.

The event is mentioned in all four Gospels. (Mark 11:1–11, Matt21:1–11, Luke 19:28–44, John 12:12–19). This entry into Jerusalem is seen as the prophetic fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9-10:

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion, shout for joy, O daughter of Jerusalem: BEHOLD THY KING will come to thee, the just and saviour: he is poor, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. And I will destroy the chariot out of Ephraim, and the horse out of Jerusalem, and the bow for war shall be broken: and he shall speak peace to the Gentiles, and his power shall be from sea to sea, and from the rivers even to the end of the earth.

"Penetrating with a glance the clouds of history, we see emerge from afar in the prophecy the network of Eucharistic communities that embraces the whole world, a network of communities that constitute Jesus' 'Kingdom of peace' from sea to sea to the ends of the earth. He comes to all cultures and to all parts of the world, everywhere, to the miserable huts and poor peoples, as well as to the splendor of the cathedrals.
Everywhere, He is the same, the only One, and in this way, all those gathered in prayer, in communion with Him, are also united among themselves in one body..."

Pope Benedict XVI ~ Palm Sunday Mass 2006 - homily excerpt

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