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Palm Sunday (A) Is 50:4-7; Phil 2:6-11; Mt 27:11-54 An elderly man as lyin! in the h"s#ital$ dyin!

ith an in%ura&le illness' (is i)e$ a str"n! *hristian$ %alled her #arish and as+ed the #riest i) he "uld mind !"in! t" her hus&and and s#ea+in! ith him' ,he #riest %ame t" the man-s &edside and st""d "n his ri!ht' ,hey &e!an t" tal+ a&"ut h" "nder)ul (ea.en "uld &e' ,hey dis%ussed an!els and the !l"ri"us !i)ts this !""d man "uld re%ei.e in (ea.en' /0"u +n" $ sir$1 the #riest said$ /0"u %an-t ta+e all y"ur ri%hes ith y"u hen y"u die' 2hy n"t %"ntri&ute s"me m"ney t" y"ur *hur%h3 2e4.e &een in need ") a ne stained-!lass ind" ' I thin+ that "uld &e 5ust the thin! t" lea.e &ehind y"ur le!a%y' 2hy$ y"u %an e.en ha.e a messa!e "r a #assa!e ins%ri&ed "n it61 ,he man th"u!ht )"r a m"ment and said$ /,hat s"unds .ery !""d$ 7ather' (" mu%h "uld this ind" %"st31 /8h$ I-d say a&"ut 910$000 sh"uld %".er it'1 ,he #""r man nearly &urst hen he heard this$ &ut +n" in! that hat the #riest had said as true -- he %"uldn-t ta+e his ri%hes ith him : he de%ided t" !" ahead and )ul)ill the #riest-s su!!esti"n' (e retrie.ed his %he%+ &""+ and as 5ust a&"ut t" the d"%t"r %ame in and st""d "n his le)t' rite "ut the %he%+ as als" ritin! the ritten "n hen

/(ere-s y"ur medi%al &ill$ sir$1 the d"%t"r said' ,his &ill astr"n"mi%al and the #""r "ld man nearly died in sh"%+' (e )illed "ut a %he%+ and !a.e it t" the d"%t"r' As he &e!an %he%+ )"r the #riest$ he !"t an idea' /7ather$1 he said$ /did y"u say I %"uld ha.e anythin! I that ind" 31


/0es$ sir$ ") %"urse$1 the #riest said' ,he man &e!an t" s%ri&&le "n the %he%+ and #assed it t" the #riest' /2hat d" y"u ant ritten "n y"ur ind" $ sir31 as+ed the #riest'

/;""+ at the %he%+$1 the man said' ,he #riest l""+ed d" n at the mem" line at the &"tt"m ") the %he%+' ,he man had ritten: /8n my stained !lass ind" I ant ritten$ <In Mem"ry ") ="hn ,' Smith' (e died li+e *hrist : &et een , " ,'-1 (,he st"ry is )r"m an un+n" n auth"r) ,"day is %alled /Palm Sunday1 &e%ause in the litur!y e %"mmem"rate the trium#hal entran%e ") =esus int" =erusalem that as mar+ed &y #e"#le$ h" ere in =erusalem )"r the Pass".er$! #alm &ran%hes and #r"%laimin! him as Messiani% >in!' ,he !"s#el says that "n enterin! =erusalem =esus r"de "n a d"n+ey (M+ 11:7)$ )ul)illin! the #r"#he%y ") ?e%hariah @:@$ and in s" d"in! underlined sim#li%ity$ humility and #ea%e that ere distin!uishin! )eatures

") the +in!d"m he #rea%hed' It is als" +n" n as /Passi"n Sunday1 &e%ause durin! this time e remem&er =esus- )inal$ a!"niAin! 5"urney t" the %r"ss' ,he "rd /#assi"n1 is )r"m the ;atin #assi"$ hi%h sim#ly means /su))erin!1' ,he l"n! !"s#el ") the day is a !ra#hi% a%%"unt ") the #assi"n ") the *hrist' It is ir"ni%al that the ;"rd-s trium#hal entry int" =erusalem als" mar+ed the &e!innin! ") his ultimate and !reat humiliati"n : his &rutal #assi"n and death "n the %r"ss' ,he same %r" d h" el%"med =esus as ne Ba.idi% +in! "uld &e the same #e"#le h" %ried "ut )"r his eCe%uti"n a )e days later' 0et$ the sa%ri)i%ial a%t ") =esus %ulminated n"t in his death &ut in his !l"ri"us resurre%ti"n' ,he #assi"n ") the *hrist as a&"ut the trium#h ") !""d ".er$ )"r!i.eness ".er sin$ and li)e ".er death' 2e %"nsider this ee+ s#e%ial &e%ause it re%alls the )inal days ") "ur &el".ed ;"rd' A%tually$ e are n"t sim#ly !"in! t" re%all &ut reli.e the #assi"n$ death and resurre%ti"n ") =esus' 2hat d" e mean &y /!13 ,he litur!y ") the *hur%h ma+es #resent )"r us and ith us the mysteri"us$! a%ti"ns ") =esus' Burin! the ("ly 2ee+$ the litur!y ena&les us t" &e inserted int" the mystery ") the ;"rd-s dyin! and risin! and all" s "ur$ #ains and 5"ys$ su))erin!s and su%%esses &e united ith *hrist-s eC#erien%e ") these same realities' In a ay$ there)"re$ hat e %"mmem"rate durin! this ee+ is n"t 5ust =esus- dyin! and risin!$ &ut "ur " n dyin! and risin! in (im' ,he sa%ri)i%ial and !l"ri"us 5"urney ") =esus is n" "ur 5"urney' And sin%e e re%all and reli.e these %entral e.ents ith (im$ this ee+ is a#tly %alled /("ly 2ee+1' ,he h"liest ee+ ") the year starts t"day' Dut )"r many #e"#le$ d"es it ma+e any di))eren%e3 Perha#s yes$ as they en5"y the h"lidays$ as they !" t" the &ea%h and "ther .a%ati"n destinati"ns' Dut )"r us dis%i#les ") =esus$ hat must e d" t" ma+e this ee+ truly di))erent and h"ly3 7irst ") all$ e are en%"ura!ed t" a%ti.ely and heartily #arti%i#ate in the litur!ies thr"u!h"ut the ee+$ #arti%ularly in the Easter ,riduum hi%h &e!ins ith the e.enin! Mass ") ("ly ,hursday$ rea%hes its )"%al #"int in the Easter Fi!il$ and %ulminates "n Easter Sunday e.enin!' And se%"ndly$ e are in.ited t" &rin! "ur t" =esus : all in us that need healin!$ )"r!i.eness and redem#ti"n' ;et us !" t" =esus s" that he h" "))ered his li)e )"r "ur sal.ati"n %an !i.e us !enuine #ea%e and ha##iness &y re%"n%ilin! us t" G"d and t" "ne an"ther'