Palm Sunday is always ushered in by the procession of palms, recalling to our minds how the people of Jerusalem welcomed Jesus the Christ. The people are shouting "Hosanna! Glory to God! Hosanna!", these are nothing but shouts of glory towards Jesus. However, as the Sacred Liturgy proceeds, the Passion of Our Lord is recounted according to Saint Matthew. We quickly transition from shouting "Hosanna!" to "Crucify Him!".
For the majority of the world there will be no public celebrations of Holy Mass for Holy Week. For many, this will be the first time they have never attended Holy Mass on Easter Sunday. As Catholics we know that we do not just recall the holiest days of the year, but rather we enter into them. We actively participate as a member in the Holy Eucharist, in Our Lords Passion, and in His Glorious Resurrection. Today, Palm Sunday, we need to both encounter Our Lord in his triumphant entrance into Jerusalem, but we also need to recognize our part in His Passion.
In a very real way we enter into both Palm Sunday and Good Friday quite frequently. For much of the world, we encounter Christ in the Eucharist on Sunday, however, we let the world work on us. By Friday we have become a part of the secular culture, a sinful culture. We begin to crucify Our Lord with our actions and thoughts, think of those seven most deadly sins, when broken down, we can find ourselves guilty, even in the smallest degree, of offending Our Lord. As we now are being deprived of the Eucharist, it can be easy to allow ourselves to be "in the world" 24/7, must not let that be the case. If anything, this is the time to grow closer to the Lord and His Holy Catholic Church.
We know, that a "TV Mass or service" is not the exact same as being physically present at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Many of our Protestant brethren can be satisfied with a televised service, as there is no Eucharistic Sacrifice. Our Eucharistic Lord is not present in their churches or in their services. However, as Catholics we have Jesus Christ, most importantly in the Holy Eucharist, but also as the creator of our Church - the Holy Roman Catholic Church, as established by Jesus some 2000 years ago. The point is that we should be yearning for our Eucharistic Lord, as Christ chose us to be the unworthy receivers of His flesh.
When observing this Palm Sunday at home, truly recall the triumphant entrance of Christ into Jerusalem, wave the Palm branches, shout Hosanna! And in right succession, acknowledge our sins which have screamed "Crucify Him, crucify Him!", as this is done, rightly so, in every sin we commit. Allow yourself to yearn for our Eucharistic Lord today and everyday, until on that glorious day we are able to receive Him once again.
For a full list of ways to observe Holy Week at home, read my article here.
Written by Seth Ball