How people can say that being a Catholic is boring will always be a mystery to me... they are really missing out!
We live in a world which is incapable of differentiating dates, times and seasons unless there is money to be made. Christmas decorations give way to January sales, supermarket shelves groan with chocolate dinosaur eggs only to be replaced with summer sales then halloween and the consumerist cycle starts again. The government recently tried to relax Sunday trading laws so that Sunday could become even more like every other day.
Instead our Faith gives us feasts and fasts, seasons and festivals that move our life ever onward to our eternal destiny.
The night before Palm Sunday is always very exciting for the whole family... It is the calm before the storm, the pause before we rush headlong into a week that is brimming with symbolism and emotion, a mixture of sadness with no bitterness, a feeling of happy guilt, of immense joy and gratitude to come...
We try to increase the feeling of expectancy in the children, explaining the events that are about to unfold and clearing the diary of sports and cinema trips and other frivolous activities so that they understand that this week is different. The clothes are ready for the morning Mass. We dress well out of respect and reverence for the King who will pass by once again to remind us of His immense Love for Mankind.
The service starts at 9.30am so it will be a super early rise (for us)... and as always we will get there just in time!
The number of people on Palm Sunday always amazes me! Rivers of people standing in the school playground, people that I have never seen before are gathered and come out of their hiding places to have their Palms blessed.
Whether they know why they are really there, the events of the week to come
will unfold in the beautiful liturgy and in the words of the Gospel... no one will remain untouched by that Love which saved us all. The King calls and the people respond to his calling even if only for a brief moment.
Oh 'happy fault' that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer! Oh happy fault!
Lent is really finishing... the palms, symbols of joy and victory are waved, 'Hosannah to the Son of David', is sung.
In the procession we commemorate the Lord's entry into Jerusalem for our salvation. Salvation from what? From the sting of death, from sin! Restoring our fallen nature, that nature that was once corrupted in the Garden of Eden to make us a new creation! That is what we commemorate on such an important Sunday!
But what does that mean? Have you ever notice how hard it is, at times, to do good... to love people who hurt you, offend you, annoy you, to put your husband, wife or children before yourself and your needs, or to put aside your pride and be merciful? Well... on this Sunday as we listen to the Passion and our part in putting Christ on the cross, we recognise that we are not perfect and that only He can work marvels in us and around us, and it is only because of him that we can do good!
We contemplate his death today and have the hope in His resurrection.
I hope you have a good one!