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Fr Simon’s thought for Palm/Passion Sunday

One Palm Sunday some years ago a very mean Parish Priest was watching as his parishioners picked up their palms on entering church. One lady arrived and picked up a handful of palms, Fr John stopped her and gave her a lecture on the cost of palms, he ended by saying “They don’t grow on trees you know.”

Today we hear of Jesus’ amazing entry into Jerusalem going down the Mount of Olives as the crowd waved palms and sang Hosanna to the Son of David.
Then in our same Mass we hear the story of Jesus’ Passion, where he was betrayed by the kiss of a friend for thirty pieces of silver. Deserted by his friends when he needed them most as he was arrested. Peter the Rock, as prophesied by Jesus, three times denied he knew him as a cock crew.

Jesus was scourged, ridiculed, spat upon and the crowd who had welcomed him into Jerusalem now shouted Crucify him.
The words of St Paul in todays second reading ring in our ears as we begin this Holy Week.

“He emptied himself to assume the condition of a slave... and 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... should bend the Knee at the name of Jesus.”

This week reminds us each year of the true extent of God’s love for us. He willingly sacrificed his own son to save us from the power of sin and gave us, through his resurrection, the keys of the kingdom as the doors of heaven were opened inviting us to share eternity in his loving embrace.

As we walk this week with Jesus on his road to the cross, we are conscious of the crosses we are carrying at this time; a cross of separation from loved ones, a cross of risk for those on the front line, a cross of fear for the sick, a cross of sadness for the dead and their families. We carry these crosses with Jesus towards Good Friday always with the hope that Good Friday leads to Easter Sunday, the cross leads to the Resurrection, the darkness we endure will lead us to the day.