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4/9/17 - Palm Sunday - Fr. Damian

Memories of Palm Sunday go way back for all of us. What is the most striking part of this day for us? Is it the red color of the vestments and the sudden departure from purple?

Is it the palms we all receive? Years ago, people use to braid them into a cross and wear it on their clothes for the rest of the day or take the palms home and keep them behind a religious picture or crucifix on the wall.

Is it the long reading of the Passion that recounts for us the details of Christ's suffering?

The most striking part of Palm Sunday for many people is the shift from the acclaim the crowd gives Jesus on His way to Jerusalem to their call for His death in the Passion.

The same people who laid their cloaks on the road as a "red carpet" for Him, who waved palms like flags for Him, who shouted Hosanna or "hooray" as Jesus passed, would later turn on Him.

We can look on them condescendingly until we realize that we are like those people. For us this shift takes the form of a split between the faith we profess and the lives we live.

Are we faithful to Jesus and His Church when things become difficult, or are we "fair-weather" Catholics?

When we take the palms home today, whatever else we do with them, let them remind us all year long of how we can fail the Lord like those people of Jerusalem long ago and how we all need the grace, the power from His Passion, to stay faithful and loyal to Christ.

The drama of Palm Sunday is not only an event of 2000 years ago, it is our drama today, the split between faith and life. The people of Palm Sunday are none other than ourselves.




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