Palm Sunday

Joy in the Midst of Sorrow

"Christ's Entry into Jerusalem" by Hippolyte Flandrin

The Cross is the great paradox of Christianity. More than a few people have asked me over the years why the Catholic Church focuses so prominently and persistently on the Crucifix. One inquirer even suggested that the Crucifix hanging above the Altar is too intense a reminder of the sorrow in the world and that she would never join a […]

Passion Sunday — Palm Sunday

Photography © by Andy Coan

Passion Sunday — The Sunday before Easter, Palm Sunday, is observed by virtually all Christians. But for the Roman Catholic Church, it is also Passion Sunday during which all stand for readings and meditations from the passion account. The feast has a bittersweet taste. Though it celebrates the King’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem amidst hosannas, the parade leads straight to […]

Humility Triumphs

Photography © by Andy Coan

Reflection on the Mass readings for the Passion (Palm) Sunday (Year ABC) — Isaiah 50:4-7; Psalms 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-; Philippians 2:6-11; Matthew 26:14–27:66 or 27:11-54. When a conquering hero of the ancient world rode into town in triumph, it was in a regal chariot or on the back of a stately stallion.  Legions of soldiers accompanied him in the victory procession.  […]

Shall I Crucify Your King?

"Ecce Homo" by Antonio Ciseri

As we approach Palm Sunday and Good Friday, we also approach one of the most difficult moments in liturgy: our call to crucify Christ. For the reading of the Passion accounts in these liturgies, there is the option for the Gospel to be read by multiple readers. I would venture to guess that most parishes read the Passion account this […]

Catholic Quote of the Day — from Pope Francis

Pope Francis (neneo / Shutterstock.com)

“Crowd, celebration, praise, blessing, peace: it is a climate of joy that is being experienced. Jesus has reawakened many hopes of the heart, above all in the humble people, the simple, poor, forgotten, those who do not count in the eyes of the world. He understood human misery, he manifested the face of God’s mercy and deigned to heal the […]

The Passion of the Lord

Photography © by Andy Coan

Catholics seem preoccupied with the sufferings of Christ—the Crucifix, the sorrowful Mysteries, the Stations of the Cross.  As if all this were not enough, Catholics must stand at attention one Sunday each year as they listen to the entire passion narrative read aloud. Careful, repeated meditation on the Passion of Christ is important because the Passion is the climax of […]

Peter, Judas, and the Mercy of God

"Peter's Denial" (detail) by Carl Bloch

This past Sunday we heard of the forgiveness of Christ towards the Woman Taken in Adultery, the week after hearing the story of the Prodigal Son and the Merciful Father.  We need these reminders of God’s mercy in the weeks leading up to Palm Sunday, when we will all cry out the dreaded, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” If that moment in […]

The Habits of Sin — A Palm Sunday Reflection

"Christ's Entry into Jerusalem" by Hippolyte Flandrin

Alphonsus Mary Antony John Cosmas Damian Michael Gaspard de’ Liguori was born at Marianella near Naples, on September, 27th, 1696. From his earliest years he distinguished himself by his intelligence, piety and persistence of purpose. He lived an extremely active life of the mind and of great faith. At the conclusion of his life, for about the last three years, […]

Catholic Quote of the Day — from Pope Francis

Pope Francis (neneo / Shutterstock.com)

“Crowd, celebration, praise, blessing, peace: it is a climate of joy that is being experienced. Jesus has reawakened many hopes of the heart, above all in the humble people, the simple, poor, forgotten, those who do not count in the eyes of the world. He understood human misery, he manifested the face of God’s mercy and deigned to heal the […]

Encountering the Word — Mark 11:9-10

Photography © by Andy Coan

A Daily Quote from Sacred Scripture And those who went before and those who followed cried out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is coming! Hosanna in the highest!” (Mark 11:9-10) Print this entry