April 10 – Palm Sunday
Due to the COVID pandemic, there has been a dispensation in the Diocese of Joliet from the obligation to attend Mass in person. Today is the effective date in which Bishop Hicks has re-instated the obligation to attend Sunday Mass in person. Of course, those who are sick, homebound, have compromised immunity, and other illness are not required to attend Mass in person. Easter Sunday will be the last Sunday that we offer communion in the parking lot during the 10:00am livestream Mass. We will continue to livestream the Sunday 10:00am Mass and weekday Masses for the homebound. Communion can be arranged to be brought to your home. Please contact our Pastoral Care Coordinator, Jolene LeRoy, RN who will schedule a trained Minister to the Homebound to bring you communion at your home.
Sometimes I have wondered why palms are so important to people. They show up in the unlikeliest of places: behind bedroom mirrors, tucked away in taxicab visors, woven into crosses, and placed behind crucifixes and other holy pictures. A rather sarcastic view about church being fuller than usual on Palm Sunday is to say it is because we are giving something away free. But let’s think about the meaning of palms, as they do tell a story. These simple palm branches remind us of The Greatest Story ever told – a story so boundless that we Christians repeat it every year and revere it as the most significant spiritual event that ever took place. But more than that, these palm branches also tell our story, the story of our own faith life. Five weeks ago, we received ashes on our foreheads and were once again reminded of our sinfulness and our need for a radical change in our lives. But those ashes did not come from the bottom of someone’s fireplace. They were the result of blessed burned palms. Today we are five weeks older. The palms we now hold in our hands are new green leaves, reminding us that we are a part of this great story: that it isn’t just something that took place 2,000 years ago; that this drama is ongoing; and that we are each involved in our own way in being a part of the conspiracy and the betrayal that happened that night. These palms can remind us that we have played the role of Peter in our own life by lying and denying. They can remind us that we played the role of John when we abandon others in need. They can remind us that we have played the role of Judas in betraying our commitments. But here’s the good news about palms: They can also remind us of the miracle of reconciliation that can be ours. Lent begins with palms and ends with palms. The question is: What will we do with their promise and the challenge?
Have a blessed Holy Week!