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Holy Week is the most sacred week in the Church year, beginning with Palm Sunday and concluding on Easter Sunday. Palm Sunday marks the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. His arrival in his city of destiny is the beginning of his journey to the Cross. Though called Palm Sunday because of the reception done by the people to Jesus waving tree branches, this Sunday is also called Passion Sunday. Thus the gospel read today is basically the whole passion narrative, this year, from St. Luke. (Much of his account, as is true of St. Matthew’s, takes it from St. Mark since it is considered the oldest of the three).

Focusing on the Lucan feature in the narrative of Jesus’ solemn entry into Jerusalem it climaxes the journey that began earlier in his gospel (9:51), a geographical and spiritual ascent of Jesus, bringing him to the city where he will pass from death to glory. It is a “teaching” journey in which Jesus both instructs his disciples and presents himself as a model for their own way to the Father. The identification of the colt (vv30-34) underscores the foreknowledge of Jesus and in control of all features of his destiny. He is the “Lord” (vv31,34) but the humble type. In the procession, only the cloaks (no branches/palms) were mentioned (vv35f). They are cast before Jesus as symbols of possession in a spirit of renunciation important to the third Gospel (9:57-61).

The people praises God and Jesus the King for the mighty deeds (vv37f). The word ‘dynamis’ (δυνάμἰς) literally means power, might, strength. In NT it refers to deeds showing power like the miracles (Mt 11:20f; Mk 6:5; Lk 10:13; Acts 2:22,10:38). In this context, they point to the saving acts of Jesus’ ministry, his teaching, and healings (4:18f). With the acclamation that follows (v38), an adaptation of Ps 118:26, it echoes the angels’ hymn at the time of Jesus’ birth (2:14). Jesus is the king to come, the promised one, who will establish peace and harmony between God and humankind and who through his offering of self will give glory to God. It is the greatest and mighty deed- Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection, the execution of God’s saving purpose.

This is what we celebrate this Holy Week, his Paschal Mystery. This mystery “stands at the center of the Christian faith because God’s saving plan was accomplished once and for all by the redemptive death of Jesus himself, (CCC #571). By his death, Christ liberates us from sin; by his Resurrection, he opens for us the way to new life. We are justified. We are saved and truly share now the very life of God.

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Veritas Editorial

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

President of Radio Veritas

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