Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord begins the final week of our Lenten Journey which culminates in the Church’s greatest feast, the Resurrection.
The rather long name embraces the week’s triumphs and tragedies. Jesus’ joyous welcome into Jerusalem was certainly a triumph and the Last Supper gave us the Eucharist and the Priesthood, followed quickly by the tragedies of the trial, scourging and crucifixion ending in the silence of the tomb. The tragedies of Friday are always overshadowed by the ultimate triumph of Sunday.
Scholars tell us that the Passion is the oldest part of the Gospel, having been composed to explain the paradox of how a man executed as a common criminal could be the Messiah. Indeed the cross was such a symbol of disgrace that it did not become a Christian symbol until the fourth century.
Holy Week is rich in memories for all of us. We recall explanations of how eggs were the seeds of new life and symbols of Jesus’ Resurrection, and how Easter egg rolls recalled the rolling away of the stone from The Tomb. Probably there are memories of extremely long times spent in church before we were old enough to appreciate the true meaning.
On Tuesday evening, the entire diocese will gather symbolically at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe for the Mass of the Chrism. It is the Mass at which the Holy Oils to be used during the following year are consecrated and/or blessed by the bishop to be distributed to representatives of every parish.
Bishops and priests of the diocese renew their priestly vows. They, together with deacons, religious, laity and representatives of the catechumens to be baptized at the Easter Vigil, represent the entire Church of Dallas, our ecclesial community. All are welcome.
Also, keep in mind that on Wednesday, A Light is on For You, a special Holy Week initiative, will make the Sacrament of Reconciliation available from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. at every parish in the Diocese of Dallas. No reservations needed! I invite you to come home for Easter. No matter if you have been away from the Church for awhile or attend Mass every Sunday but have not gone to Confession in some time; all are invited to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation as a way to begin anew.
Lent ends on Wednesday and the Triduum (three days), Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday, lead us through sorrow to the final victory of the Resurrection.
Our participation in the Holy Week liturgies deepens our understanding of the mystery of our redemption and the basis for our Catholic faith.
We will conclude our Lenten Journey with reflections on our two final sacraments, the Eucharist and Holy Orders, both of which find their origin on Holy Thursday.