|Written by Sherry|
|Monday, 02 April 2007 06:32|
Growing up, Palm Sunday used to be my least favorite Sunday of the year. The length of the gospel reading weighed down on me, and I resented having to stand that long. I actually remember being exceptionally excited if the priest decided to use the short form of the reading.
Rather than being a particularly special reflection on Jesus' entry into Jerusalem and His subsequent passion and death, I just tuned out the readings because I had heard them so many times before.
As my relationship with Christ and His Church has (in some small ways) deepened over the past 10 years, I've discovered that my attitude toward Palm Sunday has changed as well. What was indifference has been transformed to a deep and abiding love for Palm Sunday. As we celebrate Jesus triumphant entry into Jerusalem, it is our own entry into Holy Week--a particular doorway to the grace of the Cross and Resurrection of Christ.
Each year, as the Palm Sunday reading is proclaimed, I am convicted of my own sinfulness and for the necessity of the Cross, even as I delight in the liturgical depth of Palm Sunday and--especially--of the Triduum. Each year, I discover new graces during Holy Week and know in the depths of my being that Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of the Father, has offered everything for the sake of His People and, in a very real way, for my sake.
It also strikes me that apart from Ash Wednesday, where a visible sign of our commitment to penance and conversion adorns our heads, Holy Week provides the greatest opportunity to engage in conversation about our faith. It is a week where the daily routines are interrupted by liturgy, where the passion of Christ transgresses on afternoon meetings and coffee breaks, where strains of angelic alleluias whisper softly in the darkness of the tomb.
I have made a personal commitment to enter into this Holy Week with a certain intentionality--to not float through it as I am sorely used to doing. How do you celebrate Holy Week? What are the things that you are looking forward to as we journey toward our Easter celebration?