Homily – March 28, 2021

Palm Sunday
Year B

The word ‘hosanna’ is a term with which we ought to be familiar. It is taken directly from the Scriptures we proclaim today, Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem – recorded in all 4 Gospels. Originally a Hebrew word which is very rarely translated – means ‘save us’ or ‘rescue us.’ We use this word in the context of our worship – which is sung or recited but nevertheless moves us into the heart of worship, the consecration. This is a word that invites the Lord more fully into our hearts, it propels us into a deeper, more profound intimacy with Jesus … this is a word that reminds us of the powerful nature of the mercy of God. We need this word because in one breath we turn from shouts of ‘save us’ and ‘rescue us’ to ‘Crucify Him’ … What difference between the way in which we boast about our faith and our need for God’s mercy and deny Him in front of others, turn away from Him via our sins …

Often, however, we can be unaware of our sins or even that which is sin itself. Defined as an immoral act, a transgression against divine law, an offense against God. Sin is also defined as simple as missing the mark. Created in the image and likeness of God, we are meant to act accordingly. Sin, therefore, can be characterized by those moments in which we do not think, speak or act in a God-like manner. We often excuse ourselves thinking that no one sees or that because my outward appearance outweighs the need for mercy … Public or private our sins cause division among the Body of Christ, the Church … when we sin we separate ourselves from grace, we cause disharmony in the Church, we crucify Christ again and again …

It is interesting to note that at one time this week was known as the Week of Reconciliation – this is precisely what it’s about – reconciliation. This is the holiest week in human history and is of primary importance for us Catholics. We need to remember that the liturgies of this week are not pageantry, they are real … real events that took place over 2,000 years ago now made present to us in our time. In these liturgies, we relive the Last Supper, the agony in the garden, the crucifixion and resurrection. Our cries of ‘Hosanna’ are a stark reminder that we are indeed in need of rescuing, of saving … this is the purpose of Christ’s mission … this is what Holy Week means. Therefore, do not let this week go by without reconciliation – make confession a part of your Holy Week. Christ’s mission, the meaning and purpose of Holy Week, is that of reconciliation. He came to rescue and save and we need to let Him in, to allow Him to fulfill His mission in us.

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