Today we commemorate the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem, riding on a donkey and hailed as “King of the Jews” while palm branches are strewn under his feet.
Let us follow Jesus as he entered into his Passion with his arrival in Jerusalem on a donkey, being proclaimed a “King” and watch how the picture changed as the week unfolded.
Since the beginning of Lent, we have been preparing our hearts by penance and charitable works to renew our baptismal promises on Easter Sunday. Today, Palm Sunday, we gather to herald, with the whole Church, the beginning of the celebration of our Lord’s Paschal Mystery, journeying with him into Jerusalem, sitting with him at the Last Supper, standing at the foot of the Cross and keeping vigil at his tomb, awaiting the spectacle of his Resurrection.
So with faith and devotion we now commemorate his entry into Jerusalem—the city of our salvation—following in his footsteps, and singing the ancient hymn of the Church—Hosanna—so that, being made by his grace, a partaker in his Holy Cross, we may also have a share in his Resurrection and eternal Life.
JESUS PREPARES TO ENTER JERUSALEM:
From the Mt. of Olives, Jesus sends two disciples into the village to procure a donkey for his ride into Jerusalem. They were told to say, “The Master has need of it, and it will be released.” This is a fulfillment of scripture which says: “Behold your king comes to you, meek and riding on a donkey, the foal of a beast of burden.” The disciples brought the donkey and laid their cloaks over it; Jesus sat upon the donkey while a very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road; others cut branches from the trees and strewed then on the road. The crowds preceding him and those following kept crying out and saying: ‘Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; hosanna in the highest.’
When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was shaken and asked, ‘Who is this?’ And the crowds replied, ‘This is Jesus the prophet, from Nazareth in Galilee’.
CHURCH CELEBRATION OF PALM SUNDAY: The faithful assemble for the blessing, distribution, and procession with palms.
Blessing of the Palms: Almighty God, sanctify these branches with your blessing, that we who follow Christ the King in exultation, may reach the eternal Jerusalem through him, who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.
Procession: “Hosanna to the Son of David, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest!”
ON PALM SUNDAY, THE PRIEST WITH SEVERAL LECTORS PROCLAIM THE GOSPEL NARRATIVE OF THE PASSION AND DEATH OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
PRAYER: “Lord, through the Passion of your Son, may our reconciliation with you be near at hand, that we may feel the effects of your mercy by this sacrifice made once for all. We ask this through Christ our Lord…. who, though innocent, suffered willingly for sinners and accepted unjust condemnation to save the guilty. His Death has washed away our sins, and his Resurrection has purchased our justification. And so with all the Angels, we say. ‘Hosanna in the highest, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, hosanna in the highest.’”