Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday
Beloved in the Lord, the Great Temple of Jerusalem at the time of Christ, had many important gates for entry.  The grandest of these, was the Eastern Gate  which can still be seen today.[i]  In Jesus’ time it was called the Beautiful Gate.  It was at this gate that Anne and Joachim,  the parents of Mary, famously met each other.   
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Now according to ancient Jewish tradition,  the Cloud of God’s Presence, used to appear through this gate and will appear again when the Messiah comes. The Prophet Ezekiel: ‘Then he led me to the gate and … the glory of the Lord entered the temple, by way of the gate which faces east.[ii] And so the ancients believed that when the Messiah comes,  he would pass through this, the ‘Beautiful Gate.’    This belief was so strong, that in an affront to Jews, the Moslems sealed the Eastern Gate, to dash their hopes of a coming Messiah.  But as we know, this was too late, because the Messiah has already come.  
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Today is Palm Sunday; we remember Jesus riding into Jerusalem, and it is for sure, that he entered by the Eastern Gate, the Beautiful Gate, causing the people to rejoice and wave palms.  As we will see this Holy Week, the rejoicing was short-lived, because the Messiah had come to suffer and die; this is how he will free us from the chains of hell and Satan.          This Week we walk with the Lord in his Passion.  Thursday, the Mass of the Lord’s Supper commemorates when Christ gave us the Holy Mass and the ordained Priesthood.   Then the Blessed Sacrament will be carried through the church to a place decorated with flowers, like a garden.  Jesus goes to the Garden of Gethsemane where he prays. The disciples fell asleep that night, but we will stay awake, and pray with him.  
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Then, Good Friday.  It is ‘Good’ because it is the day of love; it is the day when the Lord lays down his life for his friends.   
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Holy Saturday, Jesus’ body is in the tomb, and where goes his soul? To the land of the dead; to those waiting for the gates of heaven to be opened.  Waiting, are Abraham, and Moses and Sarah and David,  and especially two others, who have been waiting a very long time: Adam and Eve.  
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Then on Easter, we will see the Good News. We will see that with Christ, we can be resurrected; we will have the hope of being resurrected in the New World to come.  
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Fr. Luke Winkelmann

[i] constructed over the older one in the 6th century

[ii] Ezekiel 43:1-4

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