20 Mar 2016

20th March 2016 - Palm Sunday and Holy Week

On this week's programme John, Ann and Shane are joined by Geraldine Creaton from the Emmanuel Community. The focus of our programme this week is to spend a little time reflecting on Palm Sunday and Holy Week. You can listen to the full programme HERE.

Palm Sunday and Holy Week

Geraldine shared her experience of being in the Holy Land for Holy Week and she spoke of how if you are in Galilee you go up to Jerusalem, which is the same with our journey with Jesus. When we are journeying with Jesus, we are ascending, going higher with our hopes and dreams.  Holy Week is precisely that a holy week: a solemn, thought-provoking, precious week that invites us to reflect upon the great mystery of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus.

The liturgy of Palm Sunday begins with the Gospel account of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem (cf. Luke 19:28-40) where the people cried out 'Hosanna' to Jesus. We do the same at every Mass. We use the same prayer of praise and intercession during the 'Holy, holy' prayer at Mass. Geraldine reminds us that when we call on Jesus, He does come to us, most especially when we receive Him in the Eucharist.
Shane shared with us how Holy Week is 'adult week' for Catholics, whereas Christmas is often seen as a time for children. Holy Week is not just something that engages the intellect, it also engages the senses: the smell of palms and incense, the silence of Good Friday and Holy Saturday, the light of the Risen Christ that banishes the darkness during the Easter Vigil. 

Shane also reminded us about some traditional prayer devotions we can try during Holy Week to enter more deeply into this great mystery: the Stations of the Cross, meditating on the seven last words or the wounds of Christ. The excerpted section on Palm Sunday and Holy Week is HERE.

Gospel - Luke 19:28-40 (The Procession Gospel)

Jesus went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. Now when he was near Bethphage and Bethany, close by the Mount of Olives as it is called, he sent two of the disciples, telling them, ‘Go off to the village opposite, and as you enter it you will find a tethered colt that no one has yet ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, “Why are you untying it?” you are to say this, “The Master needs it”.’ The messengers went off and found everything just as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owner said, ‘Why are you untying that colt?’ and they answered, ‘The Master needs it’.

So they took the colt to Jesus, and throwing their garments over its back they helped Jesus on to it. As he moved off, people spread their cloaks in the road, and now, as he was approaching the downward slope of the Mount of Olives, the whole group of disciples joyfully began to praise God at the top of their voices for all the miracles they had seen. They cried out:

‘Blessings on the King who comes,
in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven
and glory in the highest heavens!’

Some Pharisees in the crowd said to him, ‘Master, check your disciples’, but he answered, ‘I tell you, if these keep silence the stones will cry out’.

Reflections on this week's Gospel:

Liturgical Odds and Ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter Week 2

Holy Week takes precedence over the commemoration of individual saints so the feasts of St. Enda, Abbott (Monday, March 21st 2016) and St. Turibius of Mogrovejo, Bishop (Wednesday, March 23rd 2016), are not celebrated this year.

March 24th 2016 - Holy Thursday (Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper)
March 25th 2016 - Good Friday (Celebration of the Lord's Passion)
March 26th 2016 - Holy Saturday (Easter Vigil)

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