Thirty-year-old Aileen Impas sells palm fronds formed into crosses every Palm Sunday for twenty years already as part of her devotion during the Holy Week. This may be the epitome of the Christian meaning of Palm Sunday.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma emphasized the important message of the Palm Sunday in his homily yesterday, saying that it is a reminder of one of the realities of human nature: “short memories.”
Palma reminded the Roman Catholic faithful that Palm Sunday celebrates the triumphant entry of Jesus to Jerusalem, which is an irony as the same mob who welcomed him like a king demanded for his crucifixion five days later.
“The people who welcomed Jesus in Jerusalem were also the crowd who jeered and called for his crucifixion during Good Friday,” Palma said
Impas says that she has been selling lukay during Palm Sundays since she was a child. “I do this every year, this is my contribution for the Holy Week, as making cross from palms entails patience and hard work,” Impas told Cebu Daily News in Cebuano, as she arranges the cross palms in her stall alongside Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.
“We should realize that Christ offered his life. He died because he loves us very much. This realization of God’s love should make a big difference in our lives,” Palma said.
He said the Catholic flock should remember that despite the many trials and difficulties encountered in life, “there’s God who loves us even when we’re sinners”
“This is the God who has only good plans for us. We can better realize and own it if we participate in the many activities of the church,” Palma said.
“We would like to believe that it will make us better Christians, more firm in our faith, more greater in our service of love,” Palma added.
This year’s Holy Week, he said, would be focus on “faith with good works” as advised by the Pope Benedict XVI.
Palm Sunday, also called Passion Sunday, celebrates the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, where he was welcomed like a king by crowds who laid palm branches and cloaks in his path.
In time for the celebration, vendors hawk palm leaves shaped into crosses outside churches.
Palma will lead the tinieblas or morning prayers from Maundy Thursday until Black Saturday and officiate the pontifical Mass of the Lord’s last supper in the afternoon of Maundy Thursday at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.
By Good Friday, the archbishop will lead the celebration of the Lord’s Passion and the Easter Vigil and the Mass of the Lord’s Resurrection on Black Saturday.
At dawn of Easter Sunday, religious processions of “Sugat” will reenact the meeting of the Virgin Mary and her son Jesus Christ. /Candeze R. Mongaya and Ador Vincent Mayol, Reporters