Palm Sunday - Fr. Pete Iorio
April 9, 2022 - 5:00 PM
April 10, 2022 - 8:30 AM, 11:00 AM
When I was in the Holy Land, our group walked the Via Dolorosa (Sorrowful Way), recalling what we heard the Gospel today. It was a very powerful part of our pilgrimage. An image that sticks in my mind is that as we wound our way through the alleys early in the morning to get ahead of the shop owners and shoppers, I noticed a girl of about 7 or 8 watching us. I smiled at her. She responded by sticking out her tongue at me. (She was probably afraid) I remembered the worse mockery that Jesus endured as he walked the Via Dolorosa. The first pilgrims walked the Via Dolorosa to identify themselves with the original moment, not to reduce it to a pious legend; nor even to worship the story of one man and his agony, but to stand witness to the story of each person’s agony.
The incarnation of Jesus Christ is God’s presence in our world—not an event of the past. The incarnation is still going on in our lives. And our vocation is to join God’s dynamic, incarnate energy in the world and to be that presence of divine love wherever we find ourselves.
Some may ask us why we call this week “holy” when it has so much sadness, torture, cruelty and death. It is not because we think that suffering by itself is good. Our God is not a God of suffering so much as a God of love. Neither God nor Christ love suffering, however they love those who suffer. They do not love tears; however, they love those who cry. They do not love death so much as life. The father of Jesus is not a God who allows the death of humans as much as a God who resurrects the dead. The cross is a symbol of love and not a glorification of suffering. It is a symbol of love carried to the extreme in a world full of hatred. The passion is a revelation of love, of the love that God has for each of us.
We can try live His Holy Week as our Holy week, offering up our prayers as an entreaty to our God whose love embraces every suffering, and every darkness in our world.