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Palm Sunday is not about the Palms

It never occurred to me as I was down in Florida in early March, looking at the palm trees, that I wouldn’t be holding palm leaves in my hands, on Palm Sunday, or that the pews would be empty in our church.

Very quickly we found ourselves in a situation where we have to be church and do church in a very different way. Here is the good news, this Sunday was never actually about the palms anyway. We start with the palms but end with the recitation of the Passion. Palms are important, as Jesus processes into Jerusalem on the donkey. But we have to remember that our salvation was won from the cross, not from the back of a donkey. The triumphant journey into Jerusalem ends in Jesus’ death, of course we know it doesn’t end there, because we have the resurrection. Remember things for the disciples Jesus’ death seemed like an end, they were struggling with this. For us too, as we struggle with this pandemic, it might feel likes things are coming to an end. We too can come into a bit of an identity crisis, but we still are beloved sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father.

We have the benefit of the resurrection and the Holy Sprit, we are not a defeated people, we are people of the resurrection. For us this is a decision point, are we going to give in and be a defeated people or are we going to chose to be a people ignited by the Holy Spirit. Come Holy Spirit, come pour your perfect love into our hearts, the love that casts out all fear. Come and ignite our hearts!

Things are changing but our God is not going to change.  Our mission hasn’t changed but our method must. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to come upon us for wisdom, creativity and inspiration. Something that will not change is that Christ is the same today, yesterday and forever. Let the Lord ignite our hearts once again as we enter the liturgies of the Triduum this Holy Week. Jesus has won the victory! Thank you Lord. I am not a defeated person and we are not a defeated people. Ignite us to be a light to the word!