Read full text of Gospel, Matthew, Chapter 27, Verses 11-54 by clicking link below.
Praised be Jesus Christ!
Palm Sunday marks our entry into Holy Week. It is a time when we remember an essential aspect of our faith, that Jesus Christ died for our sins. He is the culmination of all the sacrifices of the Old Testament—the Lamb who was slain.
Our culture downplays sin, but if sin did not exist, there would be no reason for the Incarnation, for Jesus to come down to earth, to take on our human nature, and to be the Lamb of Sacrifice prefigured in the Old Testament. Acknowledging that we are sinners allows us to be humble before God. If accepted, the Death and Resurrection of Christ are also a cause for great joy.
We live in a time when many people lack hope and seem to be joyless. This correlates with the fact that fewer people are practicing the faith. When we rely on ourselves and the things that make us happy—or even anesthetize us—we experience profound disappointment when they inevitably fail or are taken from us.
God did not create us to walk around under a cloud, but that is what happens when we don’t have the joy and peace that comes from living with Christ crucified, died, and resurrected. When people promote things that are not of the Gospel, they often do so with angry voices and clenched fists. Meanwhile, we see the martyrs in the early Church going to their deaths singing.
In whatever way you are able, I encourage you to participate in the liturgies and penitential practices of the Church throughout this week. They are rich, they have been honed over centuries, and they speak to us in a profound way. Let us set aside whatever distracts us and joyfully focus our attention on the great gift Jesus gives us in His saving Death and Resurrection.
Know of my prayers for you during this holiest of weeks.
+ Bishop Schlert