Homily for Palm Sunday 2014

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Homily for Palm Sunday
(Scriptures for today's Mass)
(After the proclamation of the lengthy gospel of the Passion, the Church suggests a brief homily.  My Palm Sunday homily is usually a variation on today's: brief, scripture based, offering "food for prayer" for the week ahead...)
Although it's at the very heart of our faith,
the story of the suffering and death of Jesus
is recounted in its entirety only twice a year,
and then in the same week,
on Palm Sunday and Good Friday.

Though we hear this story infrequently,
its characters, words and images are vivid in our imagination.

Particular words and phrases
have embedded themselves in our memory and in our hearts,
evoking repentance and prayer...

Don't these words echo in a place deep in your soul? 

Words like:

“One of you will betray me..."

“Surely, it is not I, Lord?”

"This very night before the cock crows
you will deny three times 

that you know me..."

"Father, if it is possible,

let this cup pass from me;
yet, not as I will but as you will…
“Stay here and keep watch with me for an hour...

“The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak…”

"I do not know the man..."

Peter went out and wept bitterly...
They stripped him,
put a crown of thorns on his head
and spat upon him…

"Crucify him! Crucify him!"

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

He cried out in a loud voice

and gave up his spirit…

“Truly, this was the Son of God…”

Any of these phrases and the images they call forth
would be good food for prayer in the days ahead...

We enter the Week we call holy
when Christians around the world pause to remember and celebarte
the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus.

May the story of his suffering and death
refresh our faith in his loved poured out for us...

May the words of Jesus' passion,
embedded in our hearts,
bring us his mercy
and lead us to the peace of Easter...


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