Sunday, April 17, 2011

Section of Pope John Paul II's Homily on Passion Sunday 1996...

The Cross of Christ is the World's Hope Homily of Pope John Paul II
Passion Sunday  (
Given During the 11th World Youth Day)  March 31, 1996

1. "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord" (Entrance antiphon).

Palm Sunday, when the Church recalls Christ's triumphal entrance into Jerusalem, is a solemn gateway as it were leading to Holy Week. Looking at this day from the standpoint of liturgical spirituality, we can consider it as somehow present in every Eucharistic celebration. Just as in its time it was the threshold of the events of Christ's paschal week, so it continues as the threshold of the Eucharistic mystery. Indeed, the very threshold of the liturgy. The moment we cross this threshold, we approach the centre of the Mysterium fide).

This Mysterium is "always and everywhere" celebrated and accomplished by Christ himself, through the service of the priest, minister of the Eucharist. Christ himself, the Eternal High Priest, arrives in Jerusalem to complete his one sacrifice, the sacrifice of the New Covenant: first as a sacrament at the Last Supper on Holy Thursday; then as a redeeming reality on Calvary.

"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"
This Week is filled with the sufferings of Christ

2. His coming is a revelation, a radical, total revelation of God's holiness. "Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaoth". "Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of power and might. Heaven and earth are full of your glory...".

Precisely this Week which humanly speaking is filled to the brim with suffering, humiliation, despoliation, in a word, with the kenosis of God this Week contains the revelation of God's holiness, the culmination of world history. "Holy, Holy, Holy.... Hosanna in the highest".

From the depth of Christ's redemptive humiliation, man is given the gift of strength to reach the summit of his own being and destiny. On this day and in this Week, rightly called "Holy", the "Hosanna in the highest" achieves its full meaning.

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