As we approach Holy Week, below are some reflections on this climactic week of the Church’s year from Catherine Doherty, founder of Madonna House, a Catholic community of priests and single laymen and women, based in Combermere, but with outreaches around the world.
“The triumphant ceremony which liturgically opens Holy Week on Palm (Passion) Sunday teaches us that death leads to life, that the cross is inseparable from God’s glory and ours. And that the redemptive sacrifice completes itself only on the day of the Ascension when Christ, conqueror and king, enters heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father.
Our life is intimately bound up with Christ’s triumphant mysteries: Death on the Cross, Tomb, Resurrection, and Ascension. Because of thes , you and I will ascend to heaven and be with God – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – in a union of love and joy. Because of these mysteries we are redeemed. We have faith, we walk in hope and we have charity, which means that we already possess God who is love. Let our joy in the meaning of these mysteries reflect itself in the procession on Palm Sunday, which reminds us of the triumphal entry Jesus made into Jerusalem a few days before his death.
Dearly beloved, our life should be such a processio . Our ordinary, everyday life, I mean. What does it matter that instead of palms, we hold brooms and tools of all kinds, dishes and scrubbing brushes and books. Every day of our life should be a living Hosanna to Christ the King, a march, a triumphal march towards Jerusalem, the City of God – and the day of his Second Coming, the parousia.
During the Mass itself on Palm Sunday, the Gospel of Christ’s Passion is read. The cries of the crowd, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” are in sharp juxtaposition to the cries of “Hosanna!” during his triumphal entry into Jerusalem a few days previously. So we also remember, as we walk daily in this glorious procession of love and allegiance, that it will lead us inevitably to Golgotha. About that we should be joyful, as we grow in faith and love. For as we grow , an incredible miracle will take place within us by the grace of God: Golgotha, the cross, the tomb will become so very small and easy of acceptance, even willed, desired and waited for .
Our growing faith and love will center on the Resurrection and on the Ascension that guarantees us our heart’s desire; oneness with the Beloved .”