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Sunday, March 20, 2005

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Passion (Palm) Sunday

Matthew 21:1-11 (Entrance Processional)
Isaiah 50:4-7
Philippians 2:5-11
Psalm 22:8-9, 17-20, 23-24

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earth-shaking beginnings

"Jesus cried out in a loud voice, and then gave up His spirit. Suddenly the curtain of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth quaked, boulders split, tombs opened. Many bodies of saints who had fallen asleep were raised." —Matthew 27:50-52

Today we begin Holy Week, which is closely connected to the beginning of the Easter season, the Easter Vigil. Today's Mass with the palms, procession, and reading of Jesus' Passion should help us prepare for the celebration of the Easter Vigil, especially the renewal of our baptismal promises.

The baptismal promises are the greatest promises and decisions possible for a human being to make. In renewing our Baptisms, we make the supreme act of faith and love. We reject Satan and all his works and promises. Because Satan's works are so extensive as to form a culture of death, we reject much of business, politics, the media, entertainment, education, and medicine when we reject all of Satan's works. In effect, rejecting all Satan's works means deciding to live a radically new lifestyle. This means repenting as Peter repented (Mt 26:75), carrying  the cross as Simon of Cyrene did (Mt 27:32), loving as Mary loved (see Jn 19:25), and believing as the centurion believed in professing Jesus as the Son of God (Mt 27:54). To renew our baptismal promises is to plunge into the mystery of the Trinity by professing an ever deeper faith in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Today let us begin Holy Week so we will begin Easter by making promises which will shake the world.

Prayer:  Father, I give You a blank check. Do with my life what You will.

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 to the Son of David! Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!" (Mt 21:9)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Giles H. Pater, August 18 8, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 23, 2004