The Via Dolorosa: A homily for Palm Sunday (B)

1280px-Pieter_Bruegel_d._Ä._007Today Holy Mass begins with a procession. This is wise, becuase with Mass today we begin an incredible journey with Jesus. During this week we recall what that journey must have been like for Jesus when he walked the stations of the cross 2000 some years ago.  We heard about many of those stations in our gospel today.

Today we have an invitation from Jesus to walk with him through his journey.  In the Holy Land, they don’t call it the stations of the cross. They call it the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Sorrow.  It’s actually a street in Jerusalem.  We walk with our Lord through the thick and thin, through his agony and sorrows.

Maybe you’ve noticed in your life that sometimes it is in sadness that one comes to experience the Lord in some deep way. It is in the suffering that people find Jesus, a lot of times.  This week is a week to spend in the sorrow of our Christ.

I always think of the beautiful painting by Pieter Bruegel called The Way to Calvary (above).  It depicts Jesus’ journey with the cross.  But there are a thousand other things going on in the painting. There are lots and lots of people. And no one is looking at Jesus. No one seems to notice what is going on.  Everyone is too busy.

That can’t be us this week.  Let this week be a prayerful week.  Even if you’re on Spring Break in Florida, go to the Holy Thursday Mass. The Good Friday service. Easter Mass, of course–the Vigil if you can.  I also encourage everyone to contemplate ONE station of the cross this week. Just pick on and really sit with it.

Have a holy and blessed Holy Week.