Entering Into Christ’s Sabbath

Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

Apart from the procession with palms, the long gospel reading of our Lord’s Passion makes the Palm Sunday Mass quite memorable for most people. The rubrics of the Mass for Palm Sunday even specify that the homily should be kept short — not to “make up time,” but because the gospel reading is really meant to stand on its own. Palm Sunday invites us to enter into the Lord’s Passion in a contemplative way — to experience it as an event rather than a lesson. The Passion is not a parable. It is our God giving himself to us fully and freely in love.

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A Second Look: Resting & Remembering

4th Sunday of Lent (B)

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Laetare Sunday

NOTE: In places where the Second Scrutiny is celebrated to prepare catechumens for baptism this Easter, the readings will be taken from Year A.

The fourth Sunday of Lent is called Laetare Sunday, from the Latin word for “rejoice.” It comes from the entrance antiphon for today’s Mass, a verse from Isaiah 66 which begins, “Rejoice, Jerusalem…!” It is a reminder to a people in the midst of suffering that better things are to come. So it is a reminder to us in the middle of the penitential season of Lent that our penance has a joyful purpose. Though we may suffer in this life, our final end is eternal happiness, resting in the peace of God. It is this final end I want to focus on this week, drawing from a reference in the first reading about “retrieving the lost sabbath.” 

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