Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion
April 10, 2022 Cycle C
by Rev. Jose Maria de Sousa Alvim Calado Cortes, F.S.C.B., Chaplain,
Saint John Paul II National Shrine,  Washington, D.C.

Home Page
Sunday Reading Meditations

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done.”

I am starting this Holy Week with a great sense of gratitude to Jesus because he took the cup.

 As we begin Holy Week, we need to ask for the grace of a deeper understanding of the mysteries of salvation and the sufferings of our Lord, which show us the greatness of God’s love for us. “He took the cup.” What does that mean? “He took the cup.” We are talking about God made man! 

God came from heaven and became like us, to save us.  He endured this path of humility, “because he emptied himself,” as St. Paul says in today’s second reading. God became human. He humbled himself. Why? Because he loves us! Why did he take the cup? Because he loves us! God loves us! 

We are kind of used to it. We take things for granted. That is why we have Holy Week, to regain our awareness of God’s love, his infinite love for us. We should ask the Holy Spirit to give us a sense of gratitude. Thank you, Jesus, because you have saved us from sin, from death, from despair, from darkness, from Satan! Thank you, Jesus! We praise you, we glorify you!

The celebration of this Mass is very interesting because it begins outside the church with the Gospel reading about Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem, where all the people are praising God aloud, with the branches, with their hearts full of joy. They are proclaiming God’s mighty deeds. “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in Heaven! Glory in the highest!” These are prophesies but the crowd was still not aware of it.

A few hours later, the crowd was saying the opposite. However, this praise, this act of worship to God, is genuine because we are grateful, we praise him, we thank him and we know that he is victorious.

Let us thank Jesus for being our savior. Let us thank God the Father for being saved by his powers.  Thank you, Holy Spirit, for bringing us God’s salvation, for bringing the fire of God’s love into our hearts.

May this Easter be a new beginning, not just the return of a season but a new beginning of our lives, of transformation, of challenges, of a new hope, a new joy. May this Easter be not just the return of a season but a different Easter. Let us open our hearts to be surprised by God, by his mighty deeds, because the mystery of our salvation that happened 2,000 years ago becomes new, becomes present again, as we celebrate these holy days.

This Easter, may you receive the grace of a new awareness of God’s love, a new hope and a new joy.  Amen.