Tag Archives: Palm Sunday

PALM SUNDAY WITHOUT PALMS

George “Thomas” Dunlap, 4/5/2020. Last week I turned 65, since I was a child, my family would return from Church on Palm Sunday, I would always have a palm in my hand, always, and now nothing. I believe in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. I now understand, having full and complete acceptance in our Lord without having to feel his wounds. I am learning how to accept without doubt, learning daily now, full belief in our God. AMEN. David G Bonaguar, JR, explains it best see below.

By David G Bonagura, Jr. Sunday, April 5, 2020

Today, in countless Catholic churches the world over, palms will not be given to the faithful. Many of us will watch piously on our TV screens as priests begin by blessing the palm branches in an action that makes this Mass so distinct, so memorable, and, normally, so tactile.

But not this year. We will not be present to receive our palms, to hold them as the Gospel of Jesus’ triumphal ascent into Jerusalem is read, to make crosses out of them, to thread them through our crucifixes upon returning home. It is a Palm Sunday without palms.

The annual commemoration of our Lord’s passion is not meant to be melancholic. Catholics rightly celebrate the events of Holy Week, knowing that the sorrowful passion is the means of our more glorious redemption. And so we begin Mass on this day with a note of triumph: “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the king of Israel. Hosanna in the highest!”

This year, however, our joy is tempered, with the Coronavirus keeping us from reliving these mysteries, as we ought. Ours is an historical religion, and it is through the Holy Week liturgies, above all, that we are mystically transported to the very moments that changed the world – and each of our lives – forever. Now we have to relive our history with our senses and souls deprived of the accessories: smells, sights, and even physical presence at the liturgical celebrations themselves.

Instead, we will find our historical anchor in something that transcends the senses: the deprivation the disciples felt between the passion and the resurrection.

Normally, receiving palm branches is the first act of our paschal celebration, and it points ahead to the end of the story a week hence. Christ enters Jerusalem today hailed by all as the king of the Jews. The palms, explains the liturgist Fr. Pius Parsch, are “symbols of our loyalty to Him and of our willingness to do Him homage.”

Entry of Christ into Jerusalem by Pietro Di Giovanni D’Ambrogio, c. 1440 [Pinacoteca Stuard, Parma, Italy]

* This procession was one of the few times in His life that our Lord accepted public honors. He only did so on His own terms, upsetting all our expectations of what we think a king should be. He received gold, the symbol of kingly power, only as a helpless infant. Now, as a man who has manifested unimaginable power, He chooses the meekness prophesized by Zechariah, repeated in today’s Mass: “Tell the daughter of Zion: Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on an ass, and on a colt, the foal of an ass.” (Matthew 21:5)

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