The Palm Sunday welcomes us to the Holy Week. It is also called Passion Sunday – the parade and the passion as one preacher calls it. ‘Passion’ is derived from the Latin word, “passio”, which means undergoing.

Beginning from today, in this coming week, we remember in a concentrated way all that Jesus was undergoing in the last week of his earthly life. The Holy week is not just about the great Triduum, which includes The Lord’s Supper, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil. They constitute the culminating point. It also consists of the spy Wednesday, the betrayal, treachery, and mounting misunderstanding and plotting.

The passion and the suffering of Jesus cannot be seen apart from the suffering of his people at that time and our suffering today. And as such, The Holy Week is the center of our life, in the sense that it mirrors so well the reality of life. The mixed experience of Palm Sunday and of the Passion reflects reality.

Our life is a mixture of parades and passion. Who among us doesn’t have the hosanna moments and crucifying events as part of our life? Wanting only hosanna moments at the expense of the legitimate crucifying events can be the cause of most of our stress and distress. And yet, “Passion more than parades, is what shapes our lives, but we need passion and parade to complete our lives”(Dr. Merek Zabriskie).

Three important lessons of the Holy Week with Easter Sunday as it climax are:

  1. Death does not have the final word; life has.
  2. Evil and oppression cannot overcome the power of hope without our permission.
  3. The exaltation of the cross is not only a reminder of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

It is also an invitation to lift up our own pain and find in it a path to healing and wholeness. Death and all the younger members of its family – sickness, suffering, weakness, failure, and defeat – are paths to new life.

Let us not allow death to have any claim on us before we die. The greatest message of the Good Friday is “Sunday is coming”.

HAPPY EASTER! With you and for you.

Fr. Abe