Traditionally, it is always a two-part celebration: the commemoration of the Lord’s entry into Jerusalem and the Holy Mass. Beginning with the first part, the church recalls the entrance of Christ the Lord into Jerusalem to accomplish his Paschal Mystery. A history that is ancient but alive. As we gathered outside the church, armed with our fresh palms, our history and liturgy blossomed with new fruits on days like this. With the palms after its blessing, we sang the “Lord” into Jerusalem: “Hosanna Filio David.” Palms would not long become the evidence of our betrayal, our hatred for the truth, and our rejection of love.
Inside the church, everything else followed: the readings and the chants of passion, according to Matthew. Then the homilist, Rev. Fr. Dr. Celestine Ezeoke who was the principal celebrant, nourished us with the Word. “We must decide to follow Jesus Christ; there is no turning back,” he urged us. It must be a fervent and courageous fellowship. Furthermore, he stated that humility is significant in Christ’s followers; for Christ, who chose a donkey, a symbol of humility and submission, rather than a horse, an animal that announces wealth, power, and force, journeyed into Jerusalem; a journey with no return. Thus, we should follow Christ alone. Not like Judas, who sold his master, nor like Pilate, who feared to hold on to the light—to the truth.
Dear friends, it is rewarding to follow Christ—to follow Christ, not merely with our palms but with our hearts and will.
We wish you all a fruitful and enriching Holy Week celebration!