The Palm Sunday – Sunday of the Passion of the Lord introduces us to the Holy Week, the preparation for the greatest Christian Solemnity – Easter.
The solemn spirit can be felt in many parishes, including Medjugorje where the Apostolic Nuncio to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mons. Luigi Pezzuto led the procession from the old church ruins to the church of St. James and celebrated Holy Mass at 11 am. At the end, Fr. Marinko Sakota, the parish priest, thanked him for having come to Medjugorje on that day.
“Dear brothers and sisters, dear pilgrims, it is a great joy that today, on this major feast of Palm Sunday, we were able to be with our Archbishop Mons. Luigi Pezzzuto, the Apostolic Nuncio to Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is our great joy to have you here in Medjugorje, but it seems to me you are happy to be here with us too. Dear brothers and sisters, may this Solemnity be a blessed day for you all, may it be the invitation to imitate Christ in suffering, so we could all be led to the Holy Week and time of prayer and fasting, coming closer to God”, said Fr. Marinko Sakota.
The Archbishop Pezzuto thanked Fr. Marinko at the end of Holy Mass, as well as Mons. Henryk Hoser, the Apostolic Visitor for the parish of Medjugorje for having invited him here and he said that is always his great desire to be here in Medjugorje.
“As the Apostolic Nuncio, my wish is to pass on to you greetings and the blessing of Holy Father Francis. Also, on his behalf, I wish to thank all priests and all those who take part in this parish. Thank you all for your presence here in such a great number. Once again, I wish to encourage you that the journey we started together here, that is also the will of the Holy Father, with each one of your efforts it may bring its fruits and have a great success”, said the Apostolic Nuncio at the end of the Holy Mass.
This is what he said in his homily:
''Beloved brothers and sisters!
Solemn proclamation of the Passion of our Lord, given in Luke’s Gospel, surely must have caused in each one of us, people of faith, profound emotions and reflections that lead us to the radical change of our lives.
Truly, this is what the path of prayer and penance in the Lenten time does in us.
1. Jesus solemnly enters into Jerusalem and this is the event of a major importance, above all for Jesus and then for his disciples and for us today, people of the New Covenant in His death and Resurrection.
But, immediately after entering into Jerusalem, journey Jesus took in such a strong decision and will (Luke 9,51), as Mark, the evangelist, confirms in the beginning of his 11th Chapter. This event, as he goes towards the temple, humbles himself in the messianic logics: just as the core of his Proclamation was in the message of the Kingdom of God, it was so necessary that the Proclamation of the Kingdom of God takes place in the temple, the heart of life of people of Israel.
Each of us carries some good in us, but also many bad things, just like those who were opponents of Jesus. If we wish to enter into God’s Kingdom, we need to remove all evil that does not just harm ourselves, but also causes damage to the entire Christian community. Indeed, as we speak of the “communion of the saints”, of the intimate community among all those who use the gift of the Baptism and who stay close to that gift in their lives, so we can speak about the intimate relationship among all those who do evil and as such live in disharmony with the obligations they received on the day of their Baptism.
I know, beloved brothers and sisters, that all of you, all of us, wish to live in the communion of saints and wish, therefore, to renounce all that is against the Law of God.
This is the first step to it.
2. However, there is one other event that follows immediately after Jesus solemnly entered into Jerusalem: when Jesus pushed away all those merchants from the temple, something that we can find in the Gospel according to Mark 11:15-18.
In the concrete way, by pushing them all away, Jesus wants us to understand that all those outer forms of devotions and everything connected to that, sometimes wrongly perceived as the power of salvation, really does not have any value and cannot guarantee our personal salvation, if it is done without true devotion. This forms would have the true value when those are the expression of the heart clinging to our Lord completely, heart capable of fulfilling God’s will, even when the Church, in the name of God, offers the truth opposite to our way of thinking and our human ways, for those ways will always be against our selfish and materialistic desires.
This is the second step on our way of conversion – always to be in the communion with the Lord, by being obedient to the plan He made for us in His Providence.
The Virgin Mary, we honor here in the special way, is our teacher in this, not always easy, journey of fulfilling the will of God. Let us ask for Her intercession and help, so this Lenten devotion, as well as our participation in the Mystery of Resurrection in the Holy Week, would open us all the doors to the Kingdom of God, in anticipating His glorious second coming, by being faithful to the Gospel.'' (photo)