Browsing Homilies

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord

Mt 21:1-11 | Is 50:4-7 | Ps 22 | Phil 2:6-11 | Mt 26:14-27:66

Today the crowds welcome Jesus by waving branches and singing out, “Hosanna!” while other members of the city asked, “Who is this?” This question should fuel our prayer as we enter this intense and incredible week. “Who is this?” rests in our hearts. This question reveals our need for the Savior, whose passion, death, and resurrection forms our prayer and our service in the world. “Who is this?” shapes our relationship with God. It forms our attitudes and creates a deep yearning to move beyond self-reliance.

Keep this question, “Who is this?” tucked in your heart as we gather this week for the Triduum. On Holy Thursday, we will tell the story of our Savior, who desires intimacy and communion with all of us. We will wash feet in our community and caress the beauty of people who walk long journeys of love, service, and integrity. We will feel this movement of love drawing us closer to an answer to the questions we hold. Are you ready to give your hearts to such an encounter this week?

We will gather to listen to Our Lord’s Passion on Good Friday. We will journey to the cross of our redemption. We will kiss or reverence or kneel before the wood of salvation, and bring all our questions of life with us: questions about our unlived lives, our search for the truth, our ponderings about earthly suffering, our lack of forgiveness, and the turmoil of our regrets. We will ask again, with a deeper awareness, “Who is this?” Are you ready to give your hearts to such an encounter this week?

On Holy Saturday, at the Easter Vigil, we will bless fire and lift light in the darkness. We will listen and hear proclaimed all of salvation history summarized in an extended Liturgy of the Word—essentially, God’s love letter to humanity. We will bless water for baptism and welcome people waiting to belong to such a mystery of Jesus’ resurrection. We will feed on his Body and Blood, and come to know ever deeper the answer to the question, “Who is this?” Love will reveal itself, and we will feel the collective energy of people longing for forgiveness, mercy, and belonging.

The containers, the vessels, for our questions will be fire, water, story, food, and human hearts. “Who is this?” will grow in intensity. It will be a spiritual fire within us! Are you ready to give your hearts to such an encounter this week? It will be an encounter with the clumsiness of the disciples, their denial, sleepiness, regret, and unworthiness—they, who carried the same questions as we.

We know these human attitudes and emotions are the places in which Jesus reveals his answers. “Who is this?” becomes a key to our encounter with divine love, mercy, and forgiveness. The answers may surprise you.

Are you ready for this Holy Week?


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