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Hosannah, hosannah!! Jesus, the Savior you have heard about, is approaching Jerusalem! Here He comes, the real King of Kings - FINALLY!!! Your prayers have been answered! You grab the colored cloak over your arm and join the rest of the crowd around you in throwing it onto the ground to prepare a more fitting path for Him. Palm branches wave as cries of "Hosannah" fill the air, building to an almost unimaginable intensity as Jesus, riding a donkey, approaches. The realization that He has come to save you from the Romans has become a tangible reality. It almost seems like a dream.
Returning to the year 2016: Hosannah, Hosannah!! Music fills the air as Father ascends up the aisle with newly blessed palms while those in the pews hold palms high to exalt the King of Kings. Yes, I am caught up in the excitement. The realization that Jesus has come, not to save me from the Romans, but from my sins, is my tangible reality. Yet, strangely, sadness waits in the wings because I know what His entry into Jerusalem means.
For me, Palm Sunday Mass is a mixed bag of emotions. Jesus is coming, Holy Thursday is coming, Good Friday is coming and finally Easter is coming. Each day of Holy Week holds its share of emotions, but Palm Sunday seems to hold a little bit of each of them. Perhaps it has something to do with reading the Passion of Christ so quickly after we have only moments earlier raised our palms to welcome Him. Mass begins with such joy and ends with such sorrow.
How grateful I am to know the ending to the story! Still, during some Holy Weeks, I have tried to forget that I know that glorious end so that I might better enter in to each moment. Interestingly, upon doing this, something intriguing occurred to me each time.
First, I will admit that it seems that I do get a better grasp on what it may have been like to be there during His passion. However, in a paradoxical sort of way, I find that when I decide to focus on the purpose of the passion, the real reason it existed at all, everything changes. I find myself entering in on a deeper level. Why? Perhaps it is because God Himself saw the passion through the lens of eternal life for His creation. As I reflect on this reality I am getting a glimpse through this incredible lens.
However you choose to enter in during this awe-inspiring Holy Week, I truly pray right now that it will be an experience that will bring you closer to Him.
His greatest desire is that you will be with Him for all eternity. So why wait? Get to know Him in His passion this Easter. Help Him carry His cross. Your soul will be forever grateful!
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Let the Fire Fall!
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