By Dr. Eugene DSouza, Moodubelle
Bellevision Media Network
Moodubelle, 18 April 2011: Palm Sunday, that marks the beginning of the Holy Week leading to the commemoration of Crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Good Friday and His glorious Resurrection on the Easter Sunday was observed in all the Christian churches all over the world on April 17, 2011 including in St. Lawrence Parish, Moodubelle.
On Palm Sunday, Christians all over the world celebrate the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, the week before his death on the Cross and resurrection. For many Christian Churches, Palm Sunday, often referred as ‘Passion Sunday’, marks the beginning of the Holy Week which concludes on Easter Sunday. In many Christian churches, Palm Sunday is marked by the distribution of palm leaves, often tied into crosses to the assembled worshipers.
The story of the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem is one of the few incidents in the life of Jesus which appears in all four Gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Putting the four accounts together, it becomes clear that the triumphal entry was a significant event, not only to the people of Jesus’ day, but to Christians throughout history.
The account written by all the four Gospel writers reveal that on that day, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of a borrowed donkey’s colt, one that had never been ridden before. The disciples spread their cloaks on the donkey for Jesus to sit on. When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the crowds greeted him by laying before Him their cloaks and waving palm branches and covering his path with palm branches. The people hailed and praised Him as the “King who comes in the name of the Lord” as He rode to the temple, where He both taught the people, healed them, and drove out the money-changers and merchants who had made His Father’s house a “den of robbers.”
Palm Sunday, was observed with solemnity and devotion by the parishioners of Moodubelle. Prior to the beginning of the Palm Sunday service, volunteers led by the Vice President of the Parish Pastoral Council, Alphonse Alva distributed palm leaves to the parishioners. At around 7.50 am, all parishioners proceeded to the Cross Hill where the ritual of blessing of the palms was conducted by Fr. Arun Mendonca who led the Palm Sunday service. He was joined by Fr. Joswey Fernandes, Fr. Lancy Saldanha, Fr. Charles Menezes and Fr. Maxim Pinto (OFM-Cap).
Following short prayer service and reading of the passage from the Gospel narrating the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, Fr. Arun blessed the palms. Thereafter, the entire congregation went in procession led by the altar servers and the priests. Descending to the main road, the procession entered the church premises through the main gate and thereon to the church.
During the solem Palm Sunday Mass, the passion of Christ from the Gospel according to St. Mathew was read out by Fr. Charles Menezes, Fr. Lancy Saldanha and Fr. Maxim Pinto. In his homily, Fr. Arun Mendonca explained the significance of the Palm Sunday. A large number of parishioners participated in the blessing of the palms, procession and the solemn Palm Sunday Mass.