Palm Sunday is a special day. It is the first day of a very special week in which each day has its own particular liturgy and significance.
The palms re-enact and connect us with Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem as King and Messiah, fulfilling many Old Testament Scripture passages. To the ancient Jews, the palms were symbols of victory and abundance. In Christianity they have become the symbol of the martyr, who is victorious over death.
Everyone is encouraged to take some palms home and put them on crucifixes or holy pictures. The palms have been blessed and are, thus, sacramentals, bringing Christ's special presence and power into our daily lives. Seeing them each day reminds us of Christ's redemptive sacrifice, which in turn can lead us to prayer and trust in our ultimate victory in Him.
The triumphal entry into Jerusalem accompanied by acclamations and songs of praise ends abruptly with the opening prayer of the Mass, when the focus shifts to Christ's Passion. Palm Sunday is linked with Good Friday; these are the only two days when the entire Passion account is read, from one of the synoptic Gospels on Palm Sunday and from the Gospel of John on Good Friday. May the words of that opening prayer be a source of renewal and strength for all of us on the journey to eternal life.
Father, Jesus fulfilled your will
by becoming man
and giving his life on the cross.
Help us to bear witness to you
by following his example of suffering
and make us worthy
to share in his resurrection.