‘Blessed Is He Who Comes in the Name of the Lord’

By Bishop Steven J. Raica

‘Blessed Is He Who Comes in the Name of the Lord’

Bishop Raica Ushers in Holy Week With Palm Sunday Mass

On Sunday, April 10, Bishop Raica celebrated Palm Sunday Mass at the Cathedral of St. Paul. The complete text of his remarks before the procession and following the Gospel follow herein.

 

BEFORE THE PROCESSION WITH PALMS:

My friends, on this Passion (Palm) Sunday, we recall the journey of our Lord to Jerusalem, especially through the eyes of St. Luke’s Gospel. Our gathering today reminds us that we, too, have been enamored and charmed by Christ – His words, His gestures. Like those in the Gospel, we hail Him today, as we do every day, with our praise and hosannas! We acknowledge Him as Messiah and welcome Him in our community today – “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”

With our Hosannas, we accompany Him on this last phase of His redemptive journey to Jerusalem, to Calvary, to the Cross – not abandoning our Savior, staying with Him to the last, and recognizing Him as the One who truly is Blessed and comes “in the name of the Lord.”

AFTER THE PASSION OF ST. LUKE IS READ:

On this Passion Palm Sunday, we have heard the drama of our Lord’s arrest, His sham trial, His conviction, and His pathway to the Golgotha, the place of the Skull, where He was brutally and mercilessly crucified. There the hosannas died away and gave way to the mob’s “Crucify Him!” in a rush to judgement. Even from the cross, He would not repay the insults hurled at Him in kind. Instead, continued to reach out in love, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

For whatever reason we are here today, we pray for ourselves, for all who suffer from unjust wounds, from violence and hatred. We seek the grace to turn toward the One who is love and mercy – Jesus, Our Savior. As we enter Holy Week, may we have a deeper appreciation for the tremendous love that God has for us that He suffered death for our sake so that we may live, that we may be mercy to one another, that we may truly be brothers and sisters in the human family. Holy Week is always an opportunity to reflect more deeply on the very mystery of Christ, Who is mercy and love. He Who was God, as we heard in the second reading, emptied Himself and came down so that we may know God – may know the face of God as One among us.

So, yes, it is opportune to reflect this week on what Jesus did for humanity – what Jesus did for you and me! We walk together opening ourselves once again to the power of this gift of salvation and life. May God bless you!