And they came to the place that is called Golgotha, which is the place of Calvary. And they gave him wine to drink mingled with gall. And when he had tasted, he would not drink. And after they had crucified him, they divided his garments, casting lots; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: They divided my garments among them; and upon my vesture they cast lots. And they sat and watched him. And they put over his head his cause written: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
Then were crucified with him two thieves: one on the right hand and one on the left. And they that passed by blasphemed him, wagging their heads, And saying: “Vah, thou that destroyest the temple of God and in three days dost rebuild it: save thy own self. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.” In like manner also the chief priests, with the scribes and ancients, mocking said: “He saved others: himself he cannot save. If he be the king of Israel, let him now come down from the cross: and we will believe him. He trusted in God: let him now deliver him if he will have him. For he said: I am the Son of God.” And the selfsame thing the thieves also that were crucified with him reproached him with.
Now from the sixth hour, there was darkness over the whole earth, until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying: “Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani?” That is, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” And some that stood there and heard said: “This man calleth Elias.” And immediately one of them running took a sponge and filled it with vinegar and put it on a reed and gave him to drink. And the others said: “Let be. Let us see whether Elias will come to deliver him.” And Jesus again crying with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And behold the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top even to the bottom: and the earth quaked and the rocks were rent. And the graves were opened: and many bodies of the saints that had slept arose, And coming out of the tombs after his resurrection, came into the holy city and appeared to many.
Now the centurion and they that were with him watching Jesus, having seen the earthquake and the things that were done, were sore afraid, saying: “Indeed this was the Son of God.” A segment of today’s reading from the Passion of Our Lord, Gospel of Matthew
This was the first Palm Sunday in my little chapel. Normally, I tune into the live stream from the Mother House in Toronto, but there were some technical difficulties and I got disconnected. At that point, since I’m practicing saying Mass, and this is the beginning of the Holiest week in our faith, I put on the chasuble, lit the candles, and started.
Practicing saying Mass is interesting because you know in your heart that what you’re doing isn’t a consecration. It’s a run through. But it’s also a spiritual act, and there’s a connection present even if the bread and wine aren’t consecrated.
Of course, the little Franciscan Missal I decided to use to day had a page missing. So there was at least one page of the Mass that didn’t get said. Regardless, it was a powerful experience.
One thing that struck me as interesting is the great celebration that took place when Jesus came into the city, and just how quickly people’s hearts turned over the course of 4 days. He went from being celebrated, palms and cloaks being lain on the street as He road into Jerusalem, to beaten, crushed.
The palms on the altar today will be dry in time. Eventually, ash.
Today marks the first day of the reflections of the passion. During this week, we are called to remember the sacrifice.
Take time this week to be thoughtful, to be still. Go to the inner room, and pray. Be generous, be charitable.