Saturday, March 27, 2010
Palm Sunday is the sixth and last Sunday of Lent and the beginning of Holy Week, the most sacred season in the Christian calendar.
On Palm Sunday Christians celebrate the Triumphal Entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, the week before his death and resurrection. The name is derived from the palm branches that are blessed at the beginning of Mass before the entrance procession. The Bible reveals that when Jesus entered Jerusalem, the crowds greeted him with waving palm branches, and by covering his path with palm branches. Immediately following this great time of celebration in the ministry of Jesus, he begins his journey to the cross.
Palm Sunday is also called Passion Sunday, because it also day when the Passion Reading which gives an account of Jesus' arrest, trial, suffering, crucifixion, death burial.
Thus, the gospel reading at the beginning of the Mass as the Palms are blessed is juxtaposed with the gospel reading of Jesus' passion with the desired effect to show a contrast between two very different life situations. It highlights the two paths or roads laid before Jesus, the road which leads to glory among men and the road which leads to the glory of the Cross, where Jesus is glorified by God. Ultimately Jesus chooses the latter.
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