From the desk of Deacon Mike McCormick…
Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week, a very important week for all Christians. We have been preparing for the Resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday since Ash Wednesday. This is our last chance to ensure that our preparations are complete.
Jesus was riding on a donkey, a sign of peace, on the path to Jerusalem instead of a horse which kings rode when their intent was war. The Jews lined the path shouting, “Hosanna, Hosanna, save us, save us.” They thought He was a great man, a king that was coming to save them from the Romans and not from their sins with a chance of obtaining everlasting peace. They were waving palm branches which were considered a sign of peace.
Jesus was beginning His final week on the Earth as a human, the culmination of His mission—His passion, death, and resurrection.
Jesus knew that we were weak and would need spiritual nourishment to follow in His footsteps: To love and forgive one another, to love His Father as He did, and to sin no more so that we can gain eternal peace and happiness with Him. On Holy Thursday, He gathered His apostles in an upper room, gave them His Body and Blood, and told them to do this in remembrance of Him.
This was the first Mass, the same liturgy that we participate in every weekend, the sacred banquet. The priest takes the bread and wine, blesses it the way that Jesus did and offers us the same Body and Blood that Jesus gave the apostles.
The Mass of the Lord’s Supper is my favorite Mass. I believe that we, as people filled with the Holy Spirit, can appreciate this sacred banquet more than the apostles did. Although they were there, I don’t think that they knew the importance of what they were witnessing.
I hope you can all join us online for the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday. Put yourselves in the place of the apostles and really listen to the words, “This is my Body; this is my Blood.” Try this and see if you don’t have a stronger feeling in your heart, a deeper longing for the Eucharist.
I came across this short prayer that might start your Holy Week off on the right foot:
Lord God, I give you thanks, for you are good and your mercy is endless. Here I stand at the start of this Holy Week, this week in which your church remembers Jesus’ passion and death, and I am distracted by many things. Turn my eyes now to the One who comes in your name, the One who opens the gates of righteousness, the One who answers when we call.
I bless you, Lord, for shining your light upon me, and for sending your Son to us, in human frailty. To walk the road we walk. Open my eyes that I may see Him coming, and may praise Him with a pure heart. May I walk in the way of His suffering and share also in His resurrection. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
God Bless You,