How very sad not to be in a Church publicly celebrating this day which begins our Holy Week. It is beyond belief!! I was just watching one of my alternative news medias and he was pointing out that we better examine history - whenever a freedom has ever been taken away - it usually never returns. They are creating artificial means of intelligence to keep track of social distancing. I know this seems like a digression to the day but it truly is not. The palms given to the Church today are to symbolize the martyrdom of Christians. The martyrs written about are always seen with a palm in their hand - it is a statement in the Church that we receive a palm for all eternity when martyred for Christ.
Today we will concentrate on the symbolism of the palm and the martyrdom of Christians. We begin Holy Week and we will witness the Arrest, the Passion, The Death and the Glorious Resurrection of Christ Our King. So there is hope at the end of all this suffering!
The liturgy of Palm Sunday is a solemn introduction into the great days of Holy Week, getting our hearts ready for the deep mysteries as well as to the subsequent joy and glory of Easter - The Resurrection of Jesus Christ. With the blessing of the palms, we start with the triumphant entry into Jerusalem where the great sacrificial act is to be accomplished and then in the Mass we go through the Passion and Death of Jesus. We can make this very solemn even in our homes today by truly participating in what is being viewed on our screens with our live-on line -Mass.
From the hand of the Church we receive the blessed palm branch and join the ranks of procession holding the palm in our hands. By this acceptance of the blessed palm we agree to be martyrs of Christ, to bear witness to Christ in word and dead, above all to share in His Passion. In this procession, we are joining the ranks of the followers of Christ to suffering and to battle. Jesus suffered alone; now, we who are His members, are to suffer and battle with Him but with the joyous consciousness of victory! For He is our victorious King and our own suffering and death are the only passages leading toward the never-ending joy of Easter - Heaven!
We are not just spectators reminiscing history, we are participators – ready and willing to take up our own cross and follow Him! We embrace all the sacrifices that God wills to allow us right now and we are to offer all of this to Him. We walk this life with greatness of strength, with the light of faith, with the happiness of hope - with hearts that beat with the warmth of love for God and for souls. It is the life of one who honestly looks at the Truth, strongly works out the good, sweetly comforts the sad, and mercifully lifts up the fallen. It is the life of one who, heart and soul, is devoted to Our Redeemer and King. We are to be a living Revelation of light, and a living lesson of love; who is a very Christ again in the world – A TRUE Christian!
Yes, the life of a Christian is a life of sacrifice but it is done with a true sense of happiness. There is always peaceful and triumphant rest when the victory of virtue has been nobly won. Most importantly, the life of sacrifice brings us nearer and makes us dearer to the Heart of Jesus Christ which is LOVE itself.
May we spend this Holy Week as our freedoms are taken from us by looking upon those bleeding wounds, the nails, the thorns, His Sorrowful Mother – the Cross! Oh, let us look upon the Lamb of God! May we behold His Heart pierced to let His Love and Blood flow forth for us. May we learn the story of Love and imitate Him by denying everything that may hinder us from the Cross and from sacrifice so that we too experience the Resurrection!
This time away from being physically present in our Churches should be a great opportunity to focus on this and truly unite ourselves to Jesus Who we should all hunger for now. It has been so long since a Sacramental Communion. Let us unite to Him in many Spiritual Communions and read and meditate this week on His Passion and Death so that the Resurrection can means EVERYTHING - I MEAN EVERYTHING TO US!!
May we come to the end of our journey on earth and say, “It is consummated”. Our sacrifice too will be one day completed and there will be that great rapturous moment when we experience the boundless, eternal Love of Jesus – the One Who loved us first and loves us most!
Have a Blessed Holy Week through the prayers and intercession of Our Lady of Sorrows!
Bernadette Porter is a Traditional Catholic, a wife of 42 years with 6 adult home-schooled children and 6 grandchildren. A sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of God leads me to want to share "The Church's best kept secret" - Mary!