A WORD FROM THE PASTOR
On Palm Sunday, we need to ask ourselves the following Five questions, and examine our conscience
1) Does Jesus weep over me? There is a Jewish saying, “Heaven rejoices over a repentant sinner and sheds tears over a non-repentant, hardhearted one." Are we ready to imitate the prodigal son and return to God, our loving Father, through the Sacrament of Reconciliation during this Holy Week and participate fully in the joy of Christ’s Resurrection?
2) Am I a barren fig tree? God expects me to produce fruits of holiness, purity, justice, humility, obedience, charity, and forgiveness. Do I? Or, worse, do I continue to produce bitter fruits of impurity, injustice, pride, hatred, jealousy, and selfishness?
3) Do I welcome Jesus into my heart? Am I ready to surrender my life to him during this Holy Week and welcome him into all areas of my life as my Lord and Savior, singing “Hosanna”? Today, we receive palm branches at the Divine Liturgy. Let us take them to our homes and put them in a place where we can always see them. Let the palms remind us that Christ is the King of our families; Christ is the King of our hearts, and that Christ is the only true answer to our quest for happiness and meaning in our lives. And if we do proclaim Christ as our King, let us try to make time for him in our daily life; let us be reminded that he is the One with whom we will be spending eternity. Let us be reminded further that our careers, our education, our finances, our homes, all of the basic material needs in our lives are only temporary. Let us prioritize and place Christ the King as the primary concern in our lives. It is only when we have done this that we will find true peace and happiness in our confused and complex world.
4) Are we ready to become like the humble donkey that carried Jesus? As we "carry Jesus" to the world, we may receive the same welcome that Jesus received on Palm Sunday, but we may also meet the same opposition, crosses, and trials later. Like the donkey, we are called upon to carry Christ to a world that does not know Him. Let us always remember that a Christian without Christ is a contradiction in terms. Such a one betrays the Christian message. Hence, let us become transparent Christians during this Holy Week, enabling others to see in us Jesus’ universal love, unconditional forgiveness, and sacrificial service.
5) Are we willing to follow Jesus, not just to Church but in our daily life?