Sunday, April 01, 2007
Holy Week Begins
Palm Sunday, also called Passion Sunday, marks the beginning of Holy Week. It is called Palm Sunday in commemoration of the triumphal entry of Our Lord into Jerusalem just days before His Passion and death. As Jesus entered the city for the celebration of the Passover, the people were shouting "Hosanna" and strewing His path with Palm fronds--a Jewish symbol of victory.
It is also called Passion Sunday as it is the Sunday just prior to Easter Sunday and the Gospel reading is an account of the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ.
The simultaneous remembrance of the crowds gathering to honor Christ-- waving palms and laying down their clothing to welcome him-- and the crowds of people, just days later, shouting "Crucify Him" offers us much for reflection. It seems to hint at the victory of the cross, show us our own weakness in following Christ faithfully, and display the emptiness of the world's honors all at once.
The faithful traditionally weave palms into crosses and decorate crucifixes in their homes with blessed palms on this day. It is also interesting to note, that the Church burns the leftover palms from Palm Sunday to make the ashes for the following year's Ash Wednesday.
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