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Palm Sunday

On Palm Sunday, Fr. McKenna, acting as deacon, chants the last part of the Passion as Fr. McGuire looks on.

Daily Sermons
April 7 – Fr. Lehtoranta – Church’s Voice Against Persecutors
April 8 – Bp. Dolan – Hide & Seek
April 9 – Bp. Dolan – Stone, Shepherd, Students
April 10 – Bp. Dolan – Search for the Stone
April 11 – Fr. McKenna – 7 Sorrows and the Love of Souls

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Palm Sunday is the day of public triumph and of victory fulfilled, but so ephemeral, as “Hosanna” (“save now”) morphs into “Crucify Him!” and “He saved others, Himself He cannot save.” But as Our Lord told Peter of the one sword at the Last Supper, “Satis est,” it is enough.

Still, we look to the spiritual, secret, slowly spreading victory of Easter, not to the sincere but shallow homage of the people once God’s own. They rejoiced, if only for a day, to see the Scriptures fulfilled, before they turned on their Messiah, and crucified Him. Christ’s victory, too, will wax and wane throughout our lives as throughout the Church’s, until that final day when Christ returns in glory, not on a donkey, but a cloud, surrounded not by children but by angels. Come, let us adore!

Looking back upon this Lent given over to unmasking modern religion replacements, and making our religion real by letting it take us to our knees in adoration, I am full of gratitude for our moments of glory. Laetare Sunday’s rejoicing stayed with us all that week as people did come to some daily Masses, and did adore the Blessed Sacrament Exposed on First Friday. What a victory! So many for the 11:20 Mass, so many confessions and Communions of reparation. Our Lord’s Heart must truly have been consoled. After Mass, these same numbers crowded Helfta Hall to work on crafts cleverly conceived as fundraisers for the Summer camps. Truly, St. Gertrude at its best…worship and work. God reward you.

And last Sunday! Passion Sunday seemed a preview of Easter, with the crowded 11:30 Mass, and everyone turned out in his Sunday best. Gentlemen, God reward your Resurrection reverence and respect for His Day and His House.

We were visited by a family of nine going on ten, who live in Indiana near Louisville, some two and a half hours away. The Gaitans moved there last November from Brooksville, Florida. Fr. McGuire remembers them from his seminary days, and hopes to visit them regularly for Holy Mass. Some must, and do, make great sacrifices for a good Mass, a Holy Mass.

Now, we must strike the rock a second time for this week of weeks, setting aside worldly business as much as possible for these “out of this world” days at your church. There is something for everyone on offer here, and something for everyone so disposed to do here.

Holy Week contains the whole of Catholic life, and of our life, in miniature: a quick victory too good to be true, moving memories, prayer, agony, sorrow, quiet watching, ultimate triumph, sore feet, spiritual joy, and great fatigue. Make it your own, as you may. Make it your aim to make it your best, and your glory to introduce it to new ones, young and old. You will not regret it. It is the whole of our Catholic life summarized, telescoped into eight days.

At the least, Holy Week is “Christmas Eve shopping,” a last chance to make up for a Lent ill spent, so that Easter will shed its light within, and that this time the victory will not fade so fast. But it is Christ’s victory, not our own, unless we ride with Him. Let us give the last word to the donkey, with great thanks to Dan and Mary Brueggemann, and Simon the Donkey-keeper:

Be Thou, O Lord, the rider
And we the little ass
That to God’s Holy City,
Together we may pass.

Blessed Holy Week!
– Bishop Dolan