April 1st, 2012 – Passion Sunday – Year B

Home > Pastor's Blog > April 1st, 2012 – Passion Sunday – Year B

Dear Friends

The Church celebrates today as both Palm Sunday and Passion Sunday.  It is on Palm Sunday that we enter Holy Week, and welcome Jesus into our lives, asking him to allow us a share in his suffering, death and resurrection. This is also the time we remember and relive the events which brought about our redemption and salvation.  That is why the Holy Week liturgy presents us with the actual events of the dying and rising of Jesus.

The liturgy also enables us to experience in our lives, here and now, what Jesus went through then.  In other words, we commemorate and relive during this week our own dying and rising in Jesus, which result in our healing, reconciliation, and redemption. No wonder Greek Orthodox Christians greet each other with the words, “Kali Anastasi” (Good Resurrection), not on Easter Sunday but on Good Friday. They anticipate the resurrection.  Just as Jesus did, we, too, must lay down our lives freely by actively participating in the Holy Week Liturgies.

In doing so, we are allowing Jesus to forgive us our sins, to heal the wounds in us caused by our sins and the sins of others and to transform us more completely into the image and likeness of God.  Thus, we shall be able to live more fully the divine life we received at Baptism. Proper participation in the Holy Week liturgy will also deepen our relationship with God, increase our faith and strengthen our lives as disciples of Jesus.

But let us remember that Holy Week can become “holy” for us only if we actively and consciously take part in the liturgies of this week. This is also the week when we should lighten the burden of Christ’s passion as daily experienced by the hungry, the poor, the sick, the homeless, the lonely and the outcast through our corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

The Passion Sunday liturgy combines contrasting moments,
one of glory, the other of suffering:
the welcome of Jesus into Jerusalem
and the drama of his unjust trial and suffering,
culminating in his crucifixion and death.