This Sunday (Palm Sunday) marks the beginning of Holy Week. We hear the Gospel of the Passion[1] and immediately are thrown into the last days of Jesus’ life, passion and death. It can seem overwhelming but weneed to choose a focus, knowing that every one of (this week’s) moments and movements is sacramental and full of grace.[2]

The Readings start with the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.Say to the daughter of Zion: Look, your king comes to you: he is humble, he rides on a donkey and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.[3]Great crowds spread their cloaks on the road[4]…”so that even the donkey would not sully her feet as she carried Jesus forth.”[5]

The excited crowd before and behind Jesus shout “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heavens![6] It is indeed a momentous occasion! But how quickly their cries will turn from praise to damnation – “they all said ‘Let him be crucified!’”[7] Thus “Palm Sunday and Holy Week present us with bewildering contradictions in how the people treated Jesus.[8]

How do you treat Jesus? Are you happy to praise Him when all is going well and then just as happy to treat Him badly by deliberate sin? Yes, we can all identify with this, thus in our hearts we cry out “Lord, have mercy on me a sinner!” And, of course, the Lord will hear us!

Sr. Rosaleen Shaw OP

[1] This year it is from St. Matthew’s Gospel, 26:14-27:66


[3] Mt.21:5

[4] Mt.21:8


[6] Mt.21:9

[7] Mt.27:23