Palm Sunday is one of the most popular Sundays of the year. Many people come back to Church in order to receive their palms. But, why do we receive palms today? It’s because Our Lord Jesus was praised by the people waving palms when He entered Jerusalem. Palms are symbolic of peace and victory in the ancient world. In many ways Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem is the kind of procession a king would do when returning victorious in battle or on some other special occasion. He is honored by the whole crowd and palms represent that we honor Him who actually brings peace to the world.
However, Our Lord also subverts the meaning of this procession. It is like He is living out one of his parables that always have an unexpected twist in the middle. Instead of riding a stately horse, He rides a humble donkey. Instead of entering His throne, He then immediately leaves the city. He does not come to His throne until He goes to the cross and it is there that He is recognized as King.
Our Lord is not the King of this world because this world does not recognize Him. He is a suffering servant King, not a worldly one. He is a sign of that humility all Christians should have in the face of the evil of this world. An earthly King would rule by force and eventually his rule will come to an end. This King reigns in our hearts and His kingdom will never end.
This year, because of Covid restrictions, we will be handing out palms after all the weekend Masses. This is to ensure that palms will not be left in the pews during Mass that will force unnecessarycontact between people, especially those who clean the church. Thank you for your patience.