PASSION SUNDAY / PALM SUNDAY (Year A, B, C) – 5th April 2020

Theme: THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS VICTORIOUS AND GLORIOUS

  • Mathew 21:1-11;
  • Isaiah 50:4-7;
  • Psalm 21:8-9. 17-20. 23-24. R. v. 2;
  • Philippians 2:6-11
  • Matthew 26:14 – 27:66 (Shorter form 27:11-54)

Today is “Passion Sunday” or “Palm Sunday” or “Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion”! The readings today tell us that the passion (suffering and death) of our Lord is victorious, glorious, triumphant, resurrection, life, and life-giving! The palm symbolizes glory, life, hope, victory, triumph, and resurrection! (HWK, CG, Penang)

The gospel today tells us that immediately after the death of our Lord Jesus Christ the veil of the temple was torn in two, that is, the Holy of Holies where God is present will not be accessible only to the High Priest and only once a year on the day of Atonement; but it will be accessible to all and everyday of the year! (CSB/HCSB)

The gospel also tells us that immediately after the death of Jesus the bodies of many holy men rose from the dead! And finally the gospel tells us that the pagan centurion and his soldiers believed in Jesus and professed their faith: “In truth this was a son of God.”!

Thus we read: “But Jesus again crying out in a loud voice, yielded up his spirit. At that, the veil of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom; the earth quaked; the rocks were split; the tombs opened and the bodies of many holy men rose from the dead, and these, after his resurrection, came out of the tombs, entered the Holy City and appeared to a number of people. Meanwhile the centurion, together with the others guarding Jesus, had seen the earthquake and all that was taking place, and they were terrified and said, ‘In truth this was a son of God.’”! (Mt 27:51-54)

Again, the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ is victorious, glorious, triumphant, resurrection, life, and life-giving!

The second reading also tells us that the passion of Jesus Christ is victorious and glorious! Thus we read in the second reading:

“His state was divine, yet Christ Jesus did not cling to his equality with God but emptied himself to assume the condition of a slave, and became as men are, and being as all men are, he was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross.

But God raised him high and gave him the name which is above all other names so that all beings in the heavens, on earth and in the underworld, should bend the knee at the name of Jesus and that every tongue should acclaim Jesus Christ as Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”! (Ph 2:6-11)

Finally, the first gospel (Mt 21:1-11/Blessing of the palms) also tells us that the passion of Jesus is victorious and glorious! The first gospel tells us that Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem to undergo his passion is triumphant, victorious and glorious! (HCSB/NJBC): “A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, ‘Hosanna (Praise/HCSB) to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!’” (Mt 21:8-9)

The palms are to be put close to the crucifix to show that the cross is glorious!! 

Passion Sunday (Palm Sunday) begins Holy Week! On Holy Thursday we will celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper (Washing of feet)! On Good Friday we will celebrate the Lord’s Passion (Veneration/Kissing of the Cross)! And on Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday we will celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord (Baptism and Renewal of Baptism)! A Happy and Holy Week to all of you! Amen!

The Easter Vigil (Year C) – 20th April 2019

Theme: IN BAPTISM WE DIE AND RISE WITH JESUS CHRIST TO THE NEW LIFE OF EASTER

  • Genesis 1:1. 26-31;
  • Genesis 22:1-2. 9-13. 15-18;
  • Exodus 14:15-15:1;
  • Ezekiel 36:16-28
  • Romans 6:3-11; Luke 24:1-12

A happy and blessed Easter to all of you! We began this celebration of Easter with the service of light. Light in the New Testament symbolizes 3 things:

(i) Light symbolizes faith as opposed to unbelief which is darkness.
(ii) Light symbolizes life, contentment and happiness as opposed to death, misery and unhappiness which is darkness.
(iii) Light symbolizes good as opposed to evil which is darkness.

More importantly, the 3 themes are related, that is, with faith in God, we receive life, and the life from God is a life of goodness!

Most importantly, light will overcome darkness, faith will overcome unbelief, life will overcome death, and good will overcome evil! This is because Jesus Christ the light of the world has overcome the devil the darkness of the world!

And Jesus Christ the light of the world will continue to overcome the devil the darkness of the world through the power of the Holy Spirit until the end of time when light will overcome all darkness totally, completely and fully! That would be the end of the world, that is, the end of the evil world, the second coming of Jesus Christ, the Parousia!

The service of light concluded with the Easter Proclamation! The most touching verse of the Easter Proclamation is:

“O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam, which gained for us so great a Redeemer!”

How can Adam’s fault be happy? How can Adam’s sin be necessary? How can Adam’s sin merit for us so great a Redeemer? The verse is not telling us about Adam’s fault and sin, but it is telling us about the love of God!

God created the world out of love, but when we sinned God loved us even more. He became man to save us from sin, but when we crucified him on the cross he loved us even more. He died, rose from the dead and gave us the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit dwells not in heaven or on earth, but the Holy Spirit dwells among us and within us, nearer to us than we are to ourselves, and loving us more than we love ourselves! (St. Augustine) The Holy Spirit will continue to love us until we love God, love our neighbor and love ourselves! That would be the end of the world, that is, the end of the evil world, the second coming of Jesus Christ, the Parousia!

After the service of light we listened to 6 readings, 4 from the Old Testament and 2 from the New Testament. The first 3 readings from the Old Testament have been used in the Easter Liturgy since the fifth century! (Raas, p. 186) The first 3 readings are from the Law, the fourth reading is from the Prophets. We should read from both the Law and the Prophets. (Sunday Missal, 2011)

The readings tell us about the history of salvation! They tell us what God has done for us in the past and what God continues to do for us in the present in baptism!

The first reading tells us that God created the universe, but more importantly, it tells us that God created man and woman according to his image and likeness to be the co-creators of God to create life! But man and woman committed the Original Sin of Pride and brought death into the world! Consequently, instead of creating life, man and woman destroy life, destroy the environment, destroy one another and destroy oneself!

The second reading tells us that God began the history of salvation with Abraham the father of faith. Abraham’s faith was such that he was ready to sacrifice his son Isaac to God! As result, God blessed him with many descendents as many as the stars in heaven and as many as the grains of sand on the seashore! We are the descendents of Abraham the father of faith! We are the children of faith! Without faith we cannot be baptized! Only with faith can we be baptized!

The third reading tells us about the Exodus, that is, the liberation of Israel from slavery in Egypt! The third reading tells us that God destroyed the Egyptians in the waters of the Red sea and saved the people of Israel! More importantly, the third reading tells us that God will destroy our sins in the waters of baptism and save us from death!

The fourth reading tells us about the New Exodus, the Second Exodus, even more important than the First Exodus! The second reading tells us that the people of Israel sinned against God and were exiled to Babylon, but more importantly, the fourth reading tell us that God will bring them back to their homeland in the New Exodus! God will cleanse them with water. God will give them a new heart. God will put his spirit in them and they will live! But most importantly, the fourth reading tells us that in baptism God will cleanse us with the waters of baptism. God will give us a new heart. God will give us the Holy Spirit and we will live!

The gospel tells us about the resurrection of Jesus Christ! In the gospel the two angels told the women that Jesus Christ has risen from the dead! It is through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that the Holy Spirit is given to us so that we will die and rise with Jesus Christ to the new life of Easter!

Finally, the fifth reading from the letter to the Romans tells us that it is in baptism that we die and rise with Jesus Christ to the new life of Easter, never to die anymore and never to sin anymore!

After this homily we will bless the water. We will ask God the Father with his Son Jesus Christ to send the Holy Spirit upon the water:

“We ask you, Father, with your Son to send the Holy Spirit upon the waters of this font.”!

After that we will profess our faith by answering 6 questions, 3 rejecting Satan who tempts us not to have faith in God and more importantly, 3 professing our faith in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit! After that we will be baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit! And we will die and rise with Jesus Christ to the new life of Easter!

After baptism, the adults will also receive the sacrament of confirmation. They will be made strong in the Holy Spirit to be witnesses of Jesus Christ. The Greek word for witness is “martyr”, that is, one who suffers or dies for his beliefs! The adults will also receive the sacrament of the Eucharist so that they will continue to grow stronger and stronger in the Holy Spirit! That is why it is important that after baptism and confirmation we continue to come to Mass every Sunday!

Again, a happy and blessed Easter to all of you!

Holy Thursday – Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper – 18th Apr 2019

Theme: THE EUCHARIST MAKES PRESENT, REAL AND EFFECTIVE THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST AND THE OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT FOR THE SALVATION OF THE WORLD!

  • Exodus 12:1-8. 11-14;
  • Psalm 115:12-13. 15-18.
  • R/ cf. 1 Corinthians 10:16;
  • 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
  • John 13:1-15

This evening we celebrate Holy Thursday Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper. This evening we commemorate three principal mysteries, that is, the institution of the Eucharist and the Priesthood, and the commandment to love!

The gospel today tells us about the washing of the feet of the disciples by Jesus. Unlike the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, the gospel of John does not have the institution of the Eucharist; instead it has the washing of the feet of the disciples by Jesus! The washing of the feet of the disciples by Jesus is the meaning of the Eucharist!

The gospel today tells us that when they were at supper, Jesus got up from the table, took off his outer garment, wrapped a towel round his waist, poured water into a basin and washed the disciples’ feet and dried them with the towel.

When he had finished washing the disciples’ feet, Jesus put on his clothes and went back to the table. And he told his disciples that though he was their Lord and Master, yet he washed their feet. They were therefore to follow him and wash one another’s feet! That is, they were to love and serve one another!

But more than that, the dialogue of Jesus with Peter in today’s gospel tells us of the symbolic meaning of the gospel, that is, Jesus does not only wash our feet, but more importantly, Jesus also washes away our sins with the waters of Baptism, that is, he washes away our sins with the Holy Spirit! And Jesus continues to wash away our sins with the blood of the Eucharist, that is, the blood of the cross, every Sunday! (HCSB; IBC; CSB; CCB)

In other words, Jesus does not only love and serve, but he also suffers and sacrifices for the sanctification and salvation of the world! And he told us to follow him and do the same! But how can we do the same? We can do the same with the help of the Holy Spirit!

That is why before his death and resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the salvation of the world, Jesus instituted the Eucharist and the priesthood to make present, real and effective his death and resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the salvation of the world!

The second reading tells us about the institution of the Eucharist and of the priesthood. The second reading from the first letter to the Corinthians is the most ancient written account of the institution of the Eucharist and the priesthood. It is even more ancient than the accounts in the gospels. It was written around the year A.D. 55! (CCB)

The second reading tells us that in instituting the Eucharist, Jesus did four things: (i) He took the bread. (ii) He thanked God for the bread. (iii) He broke the bread. (iv) He gave the bread.

Tonight in the Liturgy of the Eucharist, we will do the same four things that Jesus did in the institution of the Eucharist: (i) We will take the bread (Offertory). (ii) We will thank God for the bread (Eucharistic Prayer). (iii) We will break the bread. (iv) We will give the bread (Holy Communion)!

Most importantly, the second reading tells us that whenever we eat the bread and drink the cup we proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes! That is, whenever we eat the bread and drink the cup, we proclaim the “saving death” of the Lord (HCSB), that is, his death, resurrection, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the salvation of the world, until he comes again at the end of the world when all will be saved!

Again, the Eucharist makes present, real and effective the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the salvation of the world! It is with the help of the Holy Spirit that we do what Jesus commanded us to do, that is, to love and serve, to suffer and sacrifice, and to sanctify and save the world!

Holy Thursday Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper begins Good Friday; in fact, it begins the Easter Triduum of three days, namely, Good Friday (Crucifixion), Holy Saturday (Burial), and Easter Sunday (Resurrection)! The three days are but one celebration! That is why there is no dismissal on Holy Thursday and Good Friday. The dismissal will only be given after the Easter Vigil. That is why we have to come for all the three days! We shall now proceed with the “washing of the feet” and the Eucharist! A happy and blessed Easter Triduum to all of you!  Amen!

Holy Thursday Evening Mass of The Lord’s Supper – 29th March 2018

Theme: THE INSTITUTION OF THE EUCHARIST, THE INSTITUTION OF THE PRIESTHOOD AND THE COMMANDMENT TO LOVE

  • Exodus 12:1-8. 11-14;
  • 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
  • Gospel Acclamation: John 13:34
  • Gospel: John 13:1-15

Tonight we celebrate Holy Thursday, Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper. Holy Thursday is the beginning of Good Friday. In fact it is the beginning of the Easter Triduum of “three days”, namely Good Friday (death), Holy Saturday (burial) and Easter Sunday (resurrection). The Easter Triduum is one celebration. There will not be any dismissal tonight or tomorrow. The dismissal will only take place after the Easter Vigil celebration. We have to come for all the celebrations of the Easter Triduum.

Tonight we celebrate three principal mysteries, namely, the institution of the Eucharist, the institution of the priesthood, and the commandment to love.

Jesus Christ instituted the Eucharist to make present, real and effective, here and now, his death, resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for our salvation!

The second reading from 1 Corinthians tells us about the institution of the Eucharist. It is the oldest written account of the institution of the Eucharist (AD 56), older even than the gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark and Luke!

The second reading tells us that Jesus did four actions in the institution of the Eucharist, that is, take the bread, thank the Father, break the bread and give the bread to his disciples. Tonight in the Eucharist we will do the same four actions of Jesus. We will take (Presentation of the gifts/Offertory), thank (Eucharistic Prayer, that is, Preface to Doxology), break (breaking of the bread) and give (Holy Communion). And when we receive Holy Communion, we receive his Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of our sins and for our salvation!

The second reading also tells us that whenever we eat the bread and drink the cup we are proclaiming his death until he comes! That is, whenever we eat the bread and drink the cup we are proclaiming his saving death until he comes again, when all will be saved! Again, the Eucharist makes present, real and effective, here and now, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the salvation of the world!

Tonight we also commemorate the institution of the priesthood. In the short account of the institution of the Eucharist, Jesus mentioned twice, once over the bread and once over the cup, to do it in memorial of him. In this double command to do it in memorial of him, Jesus instituted the priesthood to celebrate the Eucharist. We need a priest to celebrate the Eucharist, the Sacraments and the Liturgy.

I am happy and thankful to note that we have three candidates from our parish undergoing formation in the seminary to be priests! As we enter the Church we have the statue of St. John Vianney (patron saint of parish priests) on the left side of the church door to inspire our young men to be priests! Let us continue to pray for our priests and to pray for our seminarians and to pray for more young men to become priests.

Tonight we also commemorate the commandment to love. The gospel acclamation from John tells us to love one another as Jesus loved us! The gospel itself also from John tells us how Jesus loved us. The gospel tells us that when Jesus was at supper with his disciples, he took off his outer garment, wrapped a towel round his waist, poured water onto a basin and washed the feet of his disciples! Jesus Master and Lord became servant and slave to his disciples! And he told his disciples to imitate his example and to wash one another’s feet!

But more importantly, the gospel tonight is symbolic of Jesus washing away our sins with his blood on the cross, washing away our sins with the Holy Spirit of his death and resurrection, and washing away our sins with the waters of Baptism, the waters of the Holy Spirit! (CSB; HCSB) We are therefore to imitate Jesus not only in his love and service, but also in his suffering and sacrifice for the sanctification and salvation of the whole world!

After this homily we will do the “washing of feet” which is symbolic of Jesus love and service, and more importantly, symbolic of Jesus washing away our sins with his blood on the cross! After that we will celebrate the Eucharist in which Jesus will wash away our sins with his blood! Thus the consecration of the cup:

“Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my blood, the blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in memory of me.”

And thus this extract from the Preface of tonight’s Mass (Preface I of the Most Holy Eucharist):

“As we eat his flesh that was sacrificed for us, we are made strong, and, as we drink his Blood that was poured out for us, we are washed clean.”

After this Mass there will not be any dismissal. The dismissal will only be given after the Easter Vigil. After this Mass there will be a transfer of the Holy Eucharist to a place of reposition, symbolizing the Lord being taken away for crucifixion. At the place of reposition we will spend some time in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, symbolizing spending our time with the Lord in his agony in the Garden.

In the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament we also thank the Lord for instituting the Eucharist in memorial of him, that is, to make him present, real and effective, here and now!

Tomorrow is Good Friday. It is a day of fasting and abstinence. That is, those over 14 years of age are to abstain from eating meat, and those over 16 and under 60 years of age are to fast, that is, eating only one full meal for the day. A blessed Triduum to all of you! Amen!

Holy Thursday, Mass of The Lord’s Supper (C) – 24th March 2016

Theme: THE EUCHARIST MAKES PRESENT, REAL AND EFFECTIVE THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST AND THE OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT FOR THE SALVATION OF THE WORLD! 

  • Exodus 12:1-8. 11-14;
  • Psalm 115:12-13. 15-18. R/ cf.
  • 1 Corinthians 10:16;
  • 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
  • John 13:1-15

This evening we celebrate Holy Thursday Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper. This evening we commemorate three principal mysteries, that is, the institution of the Eucharist and the Priesthood, and the commandment to love!

The gospel today tells us about the washing of the feet of the disciples by Jesus. Unlike the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, the gospel of John does not have the institution of the Eucharist; instead it has the washing of the feet of the disciples by Jesus! The washing of the feet of the disciples by Jesus is the meaning of the Eucharist!

The gospel today tells us that when they were at supper, Jesus got up from the table, took off his outer garment, wrapped a towel round his waist, poured water into a basin and washed the disciples’ feet and dried them with the towel.

When he had finished washing the disciples’ feet, Jesus put on his clothes and went back to the table. And he told his disciples that though he was their Lord and Master, yet he washed their feet. They were therefore to follow him and wash one another’s feet! That is, they were to love and serve one another!

But more than that, the dialogue of Jesus with Peter in today’s gospel tells us of the symbolic meaning of the gospel, that is, Jesus does not only wash our feet, but more importantly, Jesus also washes away our sins with the waters of Baptism, that is, he washes away our sins with the Holy Spirit! And Jesus continues to wash away our sins with the blood of the Eucharist, that is, the blood of the cross, every Sunday! (HCSB; IBC; CSB; CCB)

In other words, Jesus does not only love and serve, but he also suffers and sacrifices for the sanctification and salvation of the world! And he told us to follow him and do the same! But how can we do the same? We can do the same with the help of the Holy Spirit!

That is why before his death and resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the salvation of the world, Jesus instituted the Eucharist and the priesthood to make present, real and effective his death and resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the salvation of the world!

 

The second reading tells us about the institution of the Eucharist and of the priesthood. The second reading from the first letter to the Corinthians is the most ancient written account of the institution of the Eucharist and the priesthood. It is even more ancient than the accounts in the gospels. It was written around the year A.D. 55! (CCB)

The second reading tells us that in instituting the Eucharist, Jesus did four things: (i) He took the bread. (ii) He thanked God for the bread. (iii) He broke the bread. (iv) He gave the bread. 

Tonight in the Liturgy of the Eucharist, we will do the same four things that Jesus did in the institution of the Eucharist: (i) We will take the bread (Offertory). We will thank God for the bread (Eucharistic Prayer). (iii) We will break the bread. (iv) We will give the bread (Holy Communion)!

Most importantly, the second reading tells us that whenever we eat the bread and drink the cup we proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes! That is, whenever we eat the bread and drink the cup, we proclaim the “saving death” of the Lord (HCSB), that is, his death, resurrection, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the salvation of the world, until he comes again at the end of the world when all will be saved!

Again, the Eucharist makes present, real and effective the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the salvation of the world! It is with the help of the Holy Spirit that we do what Jesus commanded us to do, that is, to love and serve, to suffer and sacrifice, and to sanctify and save the world!

Holy Thursday Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper begins Good Friday; in fact, it begins the Easter Triduum of three days, namely, Good Friday (Crucifixion), Holy Saturday (Burial), and Easter Sunday (Resurrection)! The three days are but one celebration! That is why there is no dismissal on Holy Thursday and Good Friday. The dismissal will only be given after the Easter Vigil. That is why we have to come for all the three days! We shall now proceed with the “washing of the feet” and the Eucharist! A happy and blessed Easter Triduum to all of you! Amen!

Palm Sunday of The Passion of The Lord (C) – 20th March 2016

Theme: THE PASSION OF THE LORD IS VICTORY AND GLORY 

  • Luke 19:28-40
  • Isaiah 50:4-7;
  • Psalm 21 (22): 8-9. 17-20. 23-24. R/ v. 2;
  • Philippians 2:6-11
  • Luke 22:14 – 23:56 (Shorter Form, Luke 23:1-49)

Today we celebrate “Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord”! We celebrate “Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord”, because the Passion of the Lord is victory and glory! The palms symbolize victory and glory! That is why the proper place to put our palms is with the crucifix! This is to symbolize that the passion of the Lord is victorious and glorious!

(i). The gospel today tells us that the passion of the Lord is victorious and glorious! The gospel tells us that because of the passion of the Lord, Pilate and Herod who were enemies were reconciled:

“And though Herod and Pilate had been enemies before, they were reconciled that same day.”! (Lk 23:12; SM)

The passion of the Lord reconciles us with God and with one another!

(ii). The gospel today also tells us that because of the passion of the Lord, Barabbas the murderer was set free from prison:

“Pilate then gave his verdict: their demand was to be granted. He released the man they asked for, who had been imprisoned for rioting and murder, and handed Jesus over to them to deal with as they pleased.”! (Lk 23:24-25; SM)    

The passion of the Lord sets us free from sin and death!

(iii). The gospel also tells us that because of the passion of the Lord, the criminal who was crucified with Jesus went to heaven that very day:

“Indeed, I promise you, today you will be with me in paradise.”! (Lk 23:43; SM)

The passion of the Lord brings us to heaven!

(iv). The gospel also tells us that because of the passion of the Lord the pagan centurion was converted:

“When the centurion saw what had taken place, he gave praise to God and said, This was a great and good man.”! (Lk 23:47; SM)

The passion of the Lord converts the whole world!

(v). Finally, the gospel tells us that because of the passion of the Lord even those who crucified Jesus repented:

“And when all the people who had gathered for the spectacle saw what had happened, they went home beating their breasts.”! (Lk 23:48; SM)

The passion of the Lord saves even those who crucified him!

The first reading also tells us that the passion of the Lord is victorious and glorious! The first reading is the third of four Suffering Servant Songs of Isaiah! The first reading tells us that it is through the vicarious sufferings of the Suffering Servant that we are saved! Thus we read:

“I offered my back to those who struck me, my cheeks to those who tore at my beard; I did not cover my face against insult and spittle. The Lord comes to my help, so that I am untouched by the insults. So, too, I set my face like flint; I know I shall not be shamed.” (Is 50:6-7; SM)    

The responsorial psalm also tells us that the passion of the Lord is victorious and glorious! Thus the psalm began with the cry:

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Ps 21 (22): 2; SM)

But ends with thanksgiving and praise for salvation:

“I will tell of your name to my brethren and praise you where they are assembled. You who fear the Lord give him praise; all sons of Jacob, give him glory. Revere him, Israel’s sons.” (Ps 21 (22): 23-24; SM)

Finally, the second reading which is quoted in the “Gospel Acclamation” also tells us that the passion of the Lord is victory and glory! Thus the Gospel Acclamation:

“Christ was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross. But God raised him high and gave him the name which is above all names.” (Phil 2:8-9; SM)

Again, today we celebrate “Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord” because the Passion of the Lord is victorious and glorious! The palm symbolizes victory and glory! It symbolizes resurrection, glory and salvation! That is why the proper place to put our palms is with the crucifix!

“Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord” begins Holy Week! Holy Week will climax in the Easter Triduum! Triduum means three days, that is, Good Friday (Death), Holy Saturday (Burial) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection)! Good Friday begins with the evening of Holy Thursday, Holy Saturday begins with the evening of Good Friday and Easter Sunday begins with the evening of Holy Saturday. The three days are in fact one celebration! That is why there is no dismissal on Holy Thursday and Good Friday. The dismissal will only be given after the Easter Vigil! That is why we have to come for all the three days!

A happy and blessed Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, a happy and blessed Holy Week, and a happy and blessed Easter Triduum to all of you! Amen!

29th March 2016 – Passion Sunday

Theme: THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS VICTORY, RESURRECTION, LIFE, GLORY AND SALVATION

  • Mark 11:1-10; Isaiah 50:4-7; Psalm 21:8-9. 17-20. 23-24. R/ v. 2;
  • Philippians 2:6-11
  • Mark 14:1- 15:47 (Shorter Form, 15:1-39)

Today we celebrate Passion Sunday. Passion Sunday is also called Palm Sunday. This is because the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ is victory, resurrection, life, glory and salvation! The Palm symbolizes victory, resurrection, life, glory and salvation!

The gospel today tells us that the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ is resurrection and glory. The gospel tells us in Jesus’ own words that the passion is resurrection and glory! When they were at the Mount of Olives, Jesus told his disciples that they will lose faith in him and they will desert him, but more importantly, Jesus told them that after his resurrection he will go before them to Galilee. The gospel also tells us that when the high priest asked Jesus if he was the Christ/Messiah and the Son of God, Jesus answered that he was! And Jesus added that he will sit at the right hand of God in glory and he will come with the clouds of heaven in glory!       

The gospel also tells us that the passion of Jesus Christ is salvation! The gospel tells us that Barabbas the murderer was saved and Jesus the innocent one was crucified in his place! The gospel also tells us that when Jesus died, the veil of the temple which separated the “holy of holies” from the rest of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. Only the high priest entered the holy of holies and only once a year on the Day of Atonement! But now the presence of God in the holy of holies becomes assessable to everyone and at every time! Finally, the gospel tells us that the pagan centurion professed his faith in Jesus as the Son of God!

 

The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading also tells us that the passion of Jesus Christ is victory, resurrection and glory! The first reading is the third of four suffering servant songs of Isaiah. The suffering servant is innocent, but he suffers on behalf of the guilty – vicarious suffering! The Lord will save his suffering servant and through him the Lord will save the whole world! Thus we read in the first reading:

“I offered my back to those who struck me, my cheeks to those who tore at my beard; I did not cover my face against insult and spittle. The Lord comes to my help, so that I am untouched by the insults. So, too, I set my face like flint; I know I shall not be shamed.”

 

The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. The responsorial psalm also tells us that the passion of Jesus Christ is victory and glory.

The responsorial psalm has four stanzas. The response and the first three stanzas tell us of the sufferings of the servant (NJB), but more importantly, the fourth stanza tells us that the suffering servant praises God for his salvation and invites the whole community to praise God for salvation! Thus the fourth stanza:

“I will tell of your name to my brethren and praise you where they are assembled. ‘You who fear the Lord give him praise; all sons of Jacob, give him glory. Revere him, Israel’s sons.’”

 

The second reading also follows the theme of the Sunday. The second reading tells us that Jesus Christ was God, but he did not count equality with God. He became man and he became lower than man by accepting death on the cross. But God raised him high and gave him the name above all other names, so that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bend and every tongue shall confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father! Again, the passion of Jesus Christ is victorious and glorious! That is why we have to put the palm with the crucifix to symbolize that the passion of Jesus Christ is resurrection and glory!

 

During the past five weeks of Lent we have been praying, fasting and giving alms to the poor, to prepare to celebrate the paschal mystery of the Lord’s death and resurrection. We celebrate the paschal mystery during Holy Week. Passion Sunday / Palm Sunday begins Holy Week and climaxes in the Easter Triduum of the Lord’s death (Good Friday), burial (Holy Saturday) and resurrection (Easter Sunday)! Good Friday begins with Holy Thursday. The Easter Triduum begins with Holy Thursday and ends with the Easter Vigil. The Easter Triduum is one celebration. There will not be any dismissal on Holy Thursday and Good Friday. The dismissal will only be given after the Easter Vigil. Lent will end with the Holy Thursday Evening Mass, exclusive. Let us then continue to pray, fast and give alms to the poor to follow the Lord in his suffering and death, so as to follow him in his resurrection and glory! A blessed Holy Week to all of you!