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Sunday, March 23, 1997

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Passion (Palm) Sunday

Entrance Procession: Mark 11:1-10 or John 12:12-16
Isaiah 50:4-7
Psalm 22
Philippians 2:5-11

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the uninterrupted sanctus

"Those preceding Him as well as those who followed cried out: 'Hosanna!' " —Mark 11:9

When Jesus entered Jerusalem shortly before His death, the great crowd "got palm branches and came out to meet Him. They kept shouting: 'Hosanna! Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord!' " (Jn 12:13) Every time we go to Mass, the Church calls us to continue these praises when we pray: "Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of Your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest."

The Church hopes that our "Holy, holy, holy" and "Hosanna" will never change and will last forever (see Rv 4:8). When these praises were first sung, Jesus' admirers changed their tune from "Hosanna!" to "Crucify Him!" (Mk 15:13-14) When Jesus told Peter and the other apostles that they would turn on Him, change their tune, and deny Him repeatedly, they reasserted vehemently that they would die for Him rather than deny Him (Mk 14:31). However, an hour or two later, they "all deserted Him and fled" (Mk 14:50).

What will you do this Holy Week? By sin, will you continue to crucify Him (see Heb 6:6) or, by repentance, will you continue to praise Him and even help carry the cross? (see Mk 15:21) Will our Holy Week and our lives be "Holy, holy, holy" or "Crucify, crucify, crucify"? Or will it be both?

Prayer:  Holy, holy, holy Lord, may I praise You without interruption and forever.

Promise:  "Morning after morning He opens my ear that I may hear; and I have not rebelled, have not turned back." —Is 50:4-5

Praise:  "Hosanna! Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord!" (Mk 11:9)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, August 1, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 6, 1996