This weekend we are celebrating two events. Firstly Palm Sunday, commemorating the Lord’s entry into Jerusalem and, secondly, the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The official title for these two celebrations is Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord. Personally I have always found it a great pity that in the liturgical reforms these two were lumped together. It has always given me the feeling that justice isn’t being done to either event and that the whole thing becomes rushed. I much preferred the way it was, i.e. Palm Sunday on the 2nd Sunday before Easter and Passion Sunday the Sunday before Easter. Anyway we have to deal with what we have got.
Magnificat has a special issue for Holy Week and in his reflection on Palm-Passion Sunday the Cistercian monk Fr Simeon writes, “….why exactly is it that suffering should bring about redemption”. He suggests to expand the meaning of suffering from simply “undergoing pain” to include “the willing activation of all the passions of the soul”, intended to put love in the place of the beloved’s refusal to love. Christ redeems us because he passionately embraces our rejection of him with a love unto death, and he will not let go of us”.
Let our intention be not to let go of him who on Palm Sunday of the Passion fulfilled the will of his Father and thereby fulfilled his mission. With his grace our mission is possible too. Have a fruitful celebration of Holy Week.
Fr Piet Wijngaard, O.Carm.