Palm Sunday – The Passion of the Lord

Today’s reading of the Passion ended on the dismal note of death— Jesus died and His tomb was sealed with a stone.  Sometimes that is the way our day ends: on a dismal note, for we still suffer our pain, hurt from our losses, or feel terribly lonely.

However, Passion Sunday is not the last word of the Jesus story.  Rather, it is only the first word of a Holy Week that will reach its climax next Easter Sunday.  The final word will not be the death of Jesus, but His rising from the dead.

So too, no matter how many of our days seem to end in a depressing way, they are not the last word of our story.  Rather, they are only a prelude to triumphs we have yet to experience in this life, and they point to that ultimate victory which will be ours in the next life.  There we will again process with palm branches, not to mark Christ’s triumph entry into the earthly city of Jerusalem, but our own victorious entrance into the heavenly city of Jerusalem.

God Bless

Msgr. Powell


Fifth Sunday in Lent

Jesus had something to say about living and dying. He made claim that he is the resurrection and the life, and that whoever believes in Him will never die.  Our Lords assertion is just as relevant today as in the first century because death is just as destructive in our day as it was then.  Close to home we see our dearest relatives die from cancer  and our youth are killed in car accidents and drug overdoses.  We read about people in other parts of the world being wiped out by war, starvation and disease.

We also experience other forms of death whenever we see marriages end in divorce, religious Vocations terminated by departures, and careers cut short by unemployment.  We suffer a kind of death every time our environment gets polluted, parochial schools close from the lack of funds, and big cities decay from crime and violence.  Indeed, we too need  to hear that Jesus is the resurrection and the life.

Because we experience death in so many ways, we can’t help but wonder: Is there any meaning to life, or is it just an absurd existence?  Is there some glorious destiny for us, or is this all just a futile endeavor?

In today’s gospel Jesus answers these questions.
He tells us that death is not the last word and we are called to eternal life.  Like Lazarus, we will rise  from the dead.  Jesus comes to tell us that life has meaning and value.  If we have faith like Martha and Mary, we will see the glory of God.  No matter how devastating death may seem, with Martha and Mary we make a leap of faith and say: “Lord, I have come to believe that you are the Messiah the Son of God.  You are the resurrection and the life.”

God Bless,

Msgr. Powell