Electronic Prayer Book

The Spiritual Meaning of the Days of Lent

4.6 Palm Sunday

Holy week is sanctified by the sufferings of Jesus. To make it truly a time of holiness and benefit to us we must sanctify ourselves through penance, charity and devotion. In the Liturgy of Holy Week we relive the Mystery of Redemption. In the shadow of the Cross we unite ourselves more closely with the Victim of the Cross, and we resolve that never again will our sins be the nails which crucify our Lord.

Today, as we take part in the royal triumph of our divine King, we know that unless we gladly bear our sacrificial cross we are unworthy to carry our triumphal palm. People like to parade, to shout and to wave flags, as in the procession to Jerusalem, but how many of us are found in the procession to Calvary, carrying a cross rather than a palm? On Palm Sunday we commemorate the majestic entry of Christ into Jerusalem; we look forward to His sacrificial entry into His Passion and His all-conquering entry into heaven. We associate ourselves with our divine High Priest in self-oblation, that we likewise may enter, with Him, into the eternal joys of heaven.

We celebrate today not only the earthly triumph of Christ the King but also the greater, unending triumph of Christ the Victim. We offer our sufferings in union with those of Jesus, that through Him they may have sanctifying value. We offer our lives, that His new life within, us may raise us from the death of sin. We pray for Christ-like humility and patience that, eventually, we may obtain the rewards promised by Christ to His faithful followers.