Today we commemorate our Lord’s entry into Jerusalem with Palm Sunday. We recall how Jesus was greeted by people waving palm branches before him as they shouted Hosanna to the Son of David. Today is also the beginning of Holy Week. We will recall the Last Supper on Holy Thursday, our Lord’s death and crucifixion on Good Friday, our wait at the tomb on Holy Saturday and his glorious Resurrection on Easter Sunday. These are the most sacred days of the Christian calendar. We must enter into them with deep reverence and solemnity.
This past week, the Roman Catholic Church celebrated the fifth anniversary of the pontificate of Pope Francis. Over these five years, we have been witnesses to the great joy of Pope Francis. For me personally, Pope Francis is one of the most joyful Popes that I have encountered (given the fact that he is only the third Pope that I have lived with). I remember the excitement of his election and the days that followed. In his very first Palm Sunday homily at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Pope Francis spoke of how we need to welcome Jesus with joy in our hearts. He said, “We waved our palms, our olive branches. We too welcomed Jesus; we too expressed our joy at accompanying him, at knowing him to be close, present in us and among us as a friend, a brother, and also as a King: that is, a shining beacon for our lives. Jesus is God, but he lowered himself to walk with us. He is our friend, our brother. He illumines our path here. And in this way we have welcomed him today. And here the first word that I wish to say to you: joy! Do not be men and women of sadness, a Christian can never be sad! Never give way to discouragement! Ours is not a joy born of having many possessions, but from having encountered a Person: Jesus, in our midst; it is born from knowing that with him we are never alone, even at difficult moments, even when our life’s journey comes up against problems and obstacles that seem insurmountable, and there are so many of them! And in this moment the enemy, the devil, comes, often disguised as an angel, and slyly speaks his word to us. Do not listen to him! Let us follow Jesus! We accompany, we follow Jesus, but above all we know that he accompanies us and carries us on his shoulders. This is our joy; this is the hope that we must bring to this world. Please do not let yourselves be robbed of hope! Do not let hope be stolen! The hope that Jesus gives us”.
Holy Week Schedule & Easter Egg Hunt
There are prayer cards with the schedule for Holy Week printed on the back available at each of the three churches. Please take home a few for friends and family. Remember to invite someone to church for Holy Week and Easter! Please note the time change for Easter Sunday Mass, particularly at Our Lady of Victory. There will not be a 7:30AM Mass at Our Lady of Victory, Mass will be at 10:00AM. The children and families of our Faith Formation Program will have an Easter egg hunt at Our Lady of Victory Church. There will be refreshments served in McGuinness Hall. All are invited!
We adore you O Christ and we praise you, for by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world!
Have a Blessed Holy Week,
Father Alonzo Q. Cox