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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, March 20, 2016

Jeremiah, Chapter 30, Verse 5
Thus says the LORD: We hear a cry of fear:  terror, not peace.

Do you always believe what you hear? Is our God a God of terror or peace? God promised His people the Jews that he would restore them in the Promised Land. Israel exists today as a fulfillment of that promise. The only terror God gave was on Himself by the sacrifice of Christ. Pray for the conversion of Israel that they may know the truth being like Rahab.

In her time Rahab saved the spies of Israel. Why? She knew the truth that God was with Israel. Rahab was a survivor and a sinner; she knew God had given the land to Israel. If you know the truth you do not swerve from it. Rahab was saved from the fate of Jericho because of her action not just good will toward Israel. James in his epistle puts it this way: 20Do you want proof, you ignoramus, that faith without works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by the works. 23 Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called “the friend of God.”24 See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by a different route?

Rahab was saved by her faith and actions by the God of Israel and as a result she is not only saved but the Christ the Messiah descends from Boaz her son.

Palm Sunday[1]

Christ's triumphant entrance into Jerusalem and the account of His Passion according to St. Matthew.

Why is this day called Palm Sunday?
1. In memory of the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, when He was received by the devout people with palms. 2. Because the Church to-day blesses palms, with which a solemn procession is held.

Why are the palms blessed?
1. To protect in body and soul those who carry them with devotion. 2. To bless the dwellings into which the palms are brought. 3. To bring before us how God, by the entrance into Jerusalem with palms, has represented the victory of Jesus over the prince of darkness. Our Savior, and says, “O Lord, remove not Thy help to a distance from me, look towards my defense, save me from the lion’s mouth, and my lowness from the horn of the unicorn. O God, my God, look upon me; why hast Thou forsaken me? Far from my salvation are the words of my sin.” (Ps. xxi.)

Why did Jesus enter with so much solemnity into Jerusalem?
To present Himself as the promised Messiah and King of the Jews, Whose triumphant entry into Jerusalem the prophet Zachary had predicted.

Why did the people go to meet Jesus with palms in their hands?
It was done by a divine inspiration, to show that Jesus, as the victor over death, Satan, and hell, would gain for us the palm of peace with God, our neighbor, and ourselves, and that He would open to us the heavenly Jerusalem. And yet these same people, five days later, desired His death, crying out, “Crucify Him!” Learn, therefore, to confide in God alone, and not in man for he who is with you today may be against you tomorrow. Be cautious, therefore, and watchful, lest, imitating the changeableness of the people, you at Easter receive your Savior with joy, and then after a little by new sins crucify Him again (Heb. vi. 6).

Prayer

O almighty and eternal God, Who wouldst have Our Savior take flesh and undergo the cross, for man to imitate the example of His humility, grant, we beseech Thee, that we may both deserve the instruction of His patience and the fellowship of His resurrection. Through the same Jesus Christ, etc.

Holy Week

WHY is this week called holy week?
It is because during this week we celebrate the most important mysteries of our religion with touching and holy ceremonies.

How should we spend this week?
According to the intention of the Church, by meditating on the sufferings and death of Our Savior, by fasting more strictly, by praying often and devoutly, and leading a holy life.

So we can by offering ourselves be like the good thief and gain heaven. "The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, “Have you no fear of God,for you are subject to the same condemnation?
And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes,
but this man has done nothing criminal.” (Lk. 23:40)

Aspiration. O Jesus, I thank Thee for all Thou hast done and suffered for me. Oh, by Thy blood, give me grace to conquer my passions, and never to betray Thee by any sin. Amen.






[1] Goffine’s Divine Instructions, 1896.

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