The Sunday prior to Holy Week has been celebrated by the Church from about the fourth century as Palm Sunday. Processions of the faithful holding olive branches or palm fronds wove through the streets and into the churches, reenacting the triumphal entrance of Jesus into the city of Jerusalem. In the Middle Ages carts would be pulled around in the procession with statues of Jesus sitting on a donkey on them. The use of a donkey instead of a horse, by Jesus, was very symbolic. The use of a donkey rather than a horse demonstrated the peaceful nature of the message of Christ, instead of entering the city on a horse like a conqueror the use of a donkey was a meek and humble way for Jesus to enter the city. The Palm Sunday Mass marks the beginning of the celebration of the defining act of salvation that our Lord has bestowed upon us, His death and resurrection.
As we enter into this Holy Week, we also, should model the humility of Jesus that He showed in His life and death, turning our hearts away from that which makes us proud and contemplate God who came into His creation as one of His creatures. A God who humbled Himself within His own creation in order to become a sacrifice for His creation even to the point of giving up His life for those who owe their very existence to Him. This ultimate example of unselfish love was a demonstration of how, we also, should interact with one another. That self giving love which is that Christian love described in the Gospels is exactly that which we are called to define the way we should live our own lives. Each and every one of us need to deepen our relationship with our God, our Creator, participating in the holiest week of the year can be one way of doing this. If you are unable to come to the Holy Thursday, Good Friday or the Easter Vigil service on Saturday evening, at least join your prayers with those who follow the Passion, death and Glorious Resurrection of our Lord and Savior and unite yourself with the entire Church in thanking God for giving us the gift of everlasting life through His sacrifice.
Your servant in Christ,