Mark 11:1-10; Isaiah 50:4-7; Ps 22:8-9 17-20, 23-24; Phil 2:6-11; Mark 14:1 – 15:47
The Liturgy is so rushed and full of meaning. We remember Jesus Christ’s triumphal entry through the Golden Gate into God’s temple in Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday. Its significance is often overlooked because of the sad reading of the Passion. The people proclaim Jesus as Messiah as he comes into his holy city.
Let us stop and think what this Solemn Entry is really saying. Here is the Son of God who will take away the sins of the entire human race by his suffering and death. Jesus died condemned for the disobedience of the entire human race. Only God could atone for all of those sins. He loves us that much and wants us to be back in his Kingdom and claim again our ancient inheritance. God the Father showed his acceptance of what his Son did by raising Jesus from the dead on that first Easter Sunday.
On Thursday we often miss the Ordination of the first Bishops. Their charge was to serve the people and wash feet as Jesus did. Then Jesus changes the words of blessing over the bread and wine saying, "This is my body," "This is my blood." The apostles were in shock at this change and it took them awhile to grasp more fully what Jesus had done. Many still don’t understand completely. It is one of the major mysteries of our faith, which we need to help others understand. The Holy Spirit and the ordination of the priest in apostolic succession bring about the change.
Jesus really becomes our food, through his teaching, feeding and healing for us. This is the greatest meal on earth. We are continuing to do what Jesus did since the Last Supper. Jesus was and still is the sacrificial lamb in atonement for our the sins of all people. Jesus paid the price by his suffering and death, which only he, as God, could do for us. Thus Jesus formed the New Covenant with his own Blood poured out on our behalf.
On Good Friday we remember Jesus’ scourging, crowning with thorns and dying on the Cross. We continue to ask forgiveness for our sins and thus claim more of our inheritance through Jesus. Praise God! After his burial the church is dispersed and in hiding until Jesus rises from the dead on Easter Sunday. Also on Friday we observe a solemn day of fast and abstinence.
We also begin a 9-day Novena for God’s Divine Mercy on us, our family and friends, our country and the entire world. Jesus requested this in the early 1930s through a simple Polish nun, now St. Faustina Kowalska. Each day of this novena, Jesus asked that we bring a different group of souls to him so he can bathe them in his love. If you need that Novena email me and I shall send it to you.
Let us walk reverently and prayerfully through these days of Holy Week with calm confidence in God’s love and provision for us.
+ Fr. Bob Hilz
(© 2015 Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR)