Palm (Passion) Sunday
We have come to a crucial point in the season of Lent where hopefully our efforts at prayer, penance and almsgiving as well as the opportunity to purify ourselves through a humble confession have readied us to enter into the Passion, Death and resurrection of Christ. The ‘long’ Gospel of the Passion today does not include the resurrection, however so we stop short at Jesus being laid in the tomb. The reading today therefore serves as an overture to all we commemorate up to Good Friday.
In a sense the palms we bless and wave today symbolize us. The word PALM too can be an acronym for the four ways we commemorate Lent:
Prayer and Almsgiving, in a spirit of Love and Mortification.
There is a beautiful and fitting meditation from the Office of Readings this Sunday from St Andrew of Crete:
‘Let us run to accompany him as he hastens towards his passion, and imitate those who met him then, not by covering his path with garments, olive branches or palms, but by doing all we can to prostrate ourselves before him by being humble and by trying to live as he would wish…
‘So let us spread before his feet, not garments or soulless olive branches, which delight the eye for a few hours and then wither, but ourselves, clothed in his grace, or rather, clothed completely in him. We who have been baptized into Christ must ourselves be the garments that we spread before him…
‘Let us present the conqueror of death, not with mere branches of palms but with the real rewards of his victory. Let our souls take the place of the welcoming branches as we join today in the children’s holy song: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is the King of Israel.’