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"Many times they afflicted me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed against me" (Ps 129:2).
April is Child Abuse Prevention & Sexual Assault Awareness Month
A friend asked if I had a favorite day in the liturgical year. I suppose a lot of folks would say Christmas, or Easter. I thought for a moment, and although I am most fond of ordinary days, if I had to select one this year, it's Palm Sunday.
My friend was intrigued.
Palm Sunday (also known as Passion Sunday) is when Jesus entered Jerusalem "humble and riding on a donkey." I think of this as the back road of redemption. A road of unfathomable suffering that paved the way for the salvation of mankind.
When he enters, crowds wave palm branches and then place them on the ground in front of him. Together they sing, "Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord."
Hosanna comes from a Hebrew word meaning "save us, we pray."
Many nights throughout my childhood, I lifted my small hands in the dead of night and cried from a place of destitute, "Save." To this day, I can recall his divine presence in my suffering, and in all the time that's passed, the gates of hell have not prevailed against the love I know he has for me.
In a live-stream of Mass this morning, we were reminded of how the Church improvises: We cannot gather together and lift our palm leaves, but we can lift the palms of our hands. This simple act I took as a child beckons to the adult in me--do not lose hope.
Nothing has the power to separate us from our hope in Christ. He made certain of it in his own suffering. Darkness cannot snatch hope from our hands.
All things new. Just hold on.
Just. Hold. On.
Peace and good,
Published on Sunday, April 5, 2020 @ 12:06 PM CDT