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THE REALITY OF PALM SUNDAY


Pope Benedict himself in his homily last Sunday in St Peter’s Square said this about Palm Sunday:


"But what are we really doing when we join this procession as part of the throng which went up with Jesus to Jerusalem and hailed him as King of Israel?


Is this anything more than a ritual, a quaint custom?


Does it have anything to do with the reality of our life and our world?


To answer this, we must first be clear about what Jesus himself wished to do and actually did.


After Peter’s confession of faith in Caesarea Philippi, in the northernmost part of the Holy Land, Jesus set out as a pilgrim towards Jerusalem for the feast of Passover.


He was journeying towards the Temple in the Holy City, towards that place which for Israel ensured (in a particular way) God’s closeness to his people.


He was making his way towards the common feast of Passover, the memorial of Israel’s liberation from Egypt and the sign of its hope of definitive liberation.


He knew that what awaited him was a new Passover and that he himself would take the place of the sacrificial lambs by offering himself on the cross.


He knew that in the mysterious gifts of bread and wine he would give himself for ever to his own, and that he would open to them the door to a new path of liberation, to fellowship with the living God.


He was making his way to the heights of the Cross, to the moment of self-giving love.


The ultimate goal of his pilgrimage was the heights of God himself; to those heights he wanted to lift every human being."

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