Deacon Greg Maskarinec’s Homily from Palm Sunday

Holy Week…It Has Begun

Today is the beginning of Holy Week when we celebrate Palm Sunday…Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.  At the end of Holy Week we will celebrate Easter Sunday…Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and His conquering of sin and death.  We know the beginning.  We know the end.  Both are triumphal and we have no problem entering into these victories with our Lord.

But in between lies Jesus’ suffering, passion and death on the cross.  And our tendency as human beings to avoid any kind of discomfort, pain, or suffering might tempt us to gloss over our Lord’s passion and death during Holy Week and proceed directly from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday.  My sisters and brothers, that would be a great mistake for there is so much to be gained by entering into communion with Jesus during Holy Week.

In His passion, Jesus not only suffers and dies for us, but he shows us how to suffer.  He shows us how to die.  suffering and death are part of life that each and every one of us experience.  And Jesus shows us that there are three virtues that are essential to suffering and death.  First, humility – the recognition that God is the author of the universe and that everything belongs to Him.  Second, mercy  the loving kindness, compassion and forgiveness freely shown to someone in need. and third, love – to will the good of another, not for ourselves, but for their own sake.

My sisters and brothers, I urge you, I beg you, I challenge you…out of love for each and every one of you…find some time to meditate upon and to enter into Jesus’ passion, suffering, and death this Holy Week.  Pay particular attention to Jesus’ humility, His mercy and His love.   Easter Sunday and the Resurrection will come soon enough.  For now let us focus on Holy Week…for it has begun.