Tag Archives: Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday

To watch Fr. Joe’s homily for Palm Sunday: CLICK HERE!

It’s Palm Sunday 2021 and of course the first thing that comes to mind on Palm Sunday is PALM…

As we know, for us as Christians, the palm branches are associated with Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

And as John’s Gospel shares, “They took palm branches and went out to meet Him.”

Palm branches are a symbol of victory, triumph, peace and eternal life.

Many people have the tradition of bringing palm home, maybe making a cross from the palm or placing the palm behind that cross on the wall in their home.

But maybe there is another step in this tradition throughout the year…  Let this Palm Sunday, let the palm we have at home, be a constant reminder of the gifts of peace and joy and eternal life, that Jesus brought to us and to the world.

Let this Palm Sunday be a reminder of our journey of life and faith that has so many ups and downs but a life when lived in union with Jesus Christ continues to bring: victory, triumph, peace and eternal life.  Yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Palm Sunday

To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from Palm Sunday: CLICK HERE!

It’s Palm Sunday and what is Palm Sunday without PALM?  For the present time, palm will not be available. Once we are back “together” in Church, palm will be available.

It was in a long line at 6:45 am at the grocery store that opened at 7:00 am for seniors only.  A young man came from the parking lot and tried to cut in at the front of the line, but an old lady beat him back into the parking lot with her cane.  He returned and tried to cut in again, but an old man punched him in the gut, then kicked him to the ground and rolled him away.  As he approached the line for the third time he said “If you don’t let me unlock the door, you will never get in there.”

With the many challenges that exist in our world, our state, our families, our lives… we might be wondering, will we triumph?

As my grandmother used to say, “by the grace of God.”  What’s that mean?  By the grace of God… Grace is God’s unconditional love, a relationship of love, beyond our imagining, with all of us.

Grace is God walking with us, watching over us, caring for us.  I think at times we think, it is all up to God, to take care of, what is the concern of the moment or day…  and, yes we need to let God win the day for us.  We also have to ask the question, what is our or my part?  We who pray to our God for healing, for understanding, for consolation, for peace and so much more.

Ultimately, grace is God’s work, if you will God’s operation; but we too have a part, namely our cooperation with the work, the grace of God.

Five weeks ago one of our Petitions at Mass was may our Lenten observances of prayer, fasting, almsgiving and good works bring us closer to our God and one another.

I submit to you that God has heard our prayer this Lent and we have grown closer to our God and one another.

Lent is not over and even if it was, how are our efforts of prayer, fasting, almsgiving and good works continuing to bring us closer to our God (no social distancing necessary) and closer to one another?

This Holy Week, I would ask you to see the prayer, fasting, almsgiving and good works as part of the plan of God, part of our cooperation with the love of God, who wishes us all that is good.

This Holy Week, keep making some time to pray each day as a person and family, maybe it is grace before/after meals; maybe it is a special time during the day where the entire family can get together for a few moments or more of prayer; maybe a listing of prayers; maybe a reading from the Bible; maybe a prayer or more, like the Our Father or Hail Mary… A prayer for the people you live with (we all need that) and a prayer for the people we know or do not know who are working for an end to this Pandemic.

And of course, let’s pray together at Mass (via Live Streaming) until we meet again in person.  Maybe even joining us for Holy Thursday & Good Friday Services at 5:00 PM. (via Live Streaming).

This Holy Week, continue to make an effort at FASTING… fasting from food, complaining, gossip, pessimism, suspicion… so we will be able to FEAST, very soon.

This Holy Week, continue acts of kindness, good works…  Keep calling all those people who are part of our lives, keep social distancing (it makes a difference not only for other people, but also for yourself).

Finally, don’t forget almsgiving this Holy Week, please continue to do what you can for charities and your Church.  I heard that liquor sales were up 55% the past week or two. Let’s hope Church and charity donations are not down 55%…

We pray to our God who always hears our prayer and we pray that we will continue to make the effort to live our prayers daily; to cooperate with the plan and grace of God.  For In the end, God’s grace always triumphs!

Palm Sunday

To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from Palm Sunday: CLICK HERE!

It has been said that indifference, a lack of concern or refusal to act in the face of injustice, is at the heart of human suffering.  With this in mind, St. Maximilian Kolbe – who was executed by the Nazis on August 14, 1941, after having offered his own life to save another condemned prisoner – described indifference as the “most deadly poison of our times”.

In most cases, indifference is born of comfort or complacency and a sense that “I should not get involved” or “it’s not any of my business.”

Sadly, we can all too easily recognize how such attitudes allow injustice, abuse, and neglect to continue and increase in too many places it the world today.

Palm Sunday and Holy Week reveal to us a God who, in Jesus, was anything but indifferent, “He emptied himself, taking the form of a slave… He humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a Cross.”

As we enter into Holy Week today, we are reminded of the opportunities before for us daily to “renew our commitment to a life lived in Christ.”

These days of Holy Week challenge us to envision a life in which rather than simply limp along in life, we seize the moments, those Holy Moments before us daily to grow in love and care of one another and what we do to others and to God’s creation.

This Holy Week may we pray for the grace to have open hearts, minds and souls, so that what is indifferent and unfeeling within us may be moved by the mystery of Christ’s passion and resurrection so that we might live out the grace of Easter and bring to our world the Light of Christ!

Palm Sunday

To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from Palm Sunday: CLICK HERE!

Here we are Palm Sunday…Holy Week.  Seems like yesterday and 4 Nor’easters ago it was Ash Wednesday.

So how’s your Lent been?  Of course there are as many responses as there are people.

But as we begin Holy Week, as we anticipate Easter, may we truly take a few moments to take stock of our Lenten Journey for better or worse, richer or poorer.

Where during this Lent have our hearts been opened?  What Scriptures have spoken to us most clearly?  What might we be clinging to that we wish to leave behind?

No matter our responses to these points for reflection, may our Holy Week journey continue to open our eyes to see the Lord in our midst and open our hearts to readily receive the Lord into our lives.

Look for the ways God is and will lead each of us and all of us to Easter over the next 7 days of Holy Week.

Palm Sunday

As People of Faith — Holy Week is what it’s all about.  To that end I would encourage everyone to seriously consider attending the Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday Liturgies this coming week.  You can see this weekend’s Parish Bulletin for exact times and place.

On this Palm Sunday, let’s take a few moments to reflect upon St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians.  If we were to sum up the Philippians reading, St. Paul depicts: “Jesus as the image of the self-emptying God, the God for whom no sacrifice is too great on behalf of beloved humanity.”

Our God wants us, asks us, to embody the HUMBLE actions of Jesus, the God who “emptied himself.”

As we continue our journey of life and faith, how might we make life a bit more about one another, about others and a bit less about me, me, me?

Jesus ultimately sacrificed his life for us and for all people.  We may not be asked to sacrifice our life for others, but at times we are asked to sacrifice a bit of our time, talent or treasure for another or others; be it family, friend or neighbor or be it someone we know or someone we do not know.

As Jesus brought life to people in any number of ways with his presence, his concern, his words and interaction, may we, his disciples of 2017, bring life to others through our presence, concern, words and interactions this Holy Week and beyond.

Palm/Passion Sunday

Scriptures:     Isaiah 50:4-7;     Philippians 2:6-11;     Mark 14:1–15:47

Here we are Holy Week;  40 days of Lent are coming to an end.

Today’s Gospel from Mark might come across to us as a “play,” a “Passion Play.”

However, the Gospel today is only a play, something to watch, if it has no effect on our Christian commitment to follow Jesus in our world of today.

St. Paul was convinced that in order to be “another Christ” (A disciple of Christ) one had to have the “mentality of Christ.”

The mindset of Jesus is always geared to surfacing and responding to the needs of others.   We have countless examples of this in the Scriptures.  Right at the beginning of today’s Gospel some of the disciples are concerned that a woman is wasting perfumed oil, that might we use, for the poor.  But Jesus comes to her defense and says, “Leave her alone.”

In the mind of Jesus – the intentions of the person always trumps another person’s interpretation of those intentions.

As people called at Baptism to be the Lord’s Disciples in today’s world, we are called daily to have and to grow in having the mindset of Christ.

One scripture scholar has shared:

“God’s authentic followers hit the floor every morning listening for what God is telling them today that they did not notice God telling them yesterday;    Listening for the needs of those around them, needs that they had not heard yesterday.”    (Isaiah 50: 4-7:  “Morning after Morning the Lord God opens my ears that I may hear.”)

May this Holy Week, and hopefully our participation in the services of Holy Week – remind us of the “mindset of Jesus,” a mindset that is all encompassing.  A mindset that we as Christians are  called to take on daily that shares with others, “Jesus is alive today, sharing his love of all people through each of us.”