Skip to content

Vatican Congregation for the Clergy on Palm Sunday: The Great Hour of Salvation Awaits Us

By Vatican Congregation for the Clergy
4/2/2012 (5 years ago)
Catholic Online (

By the proclamation of the Passion we are finally placed before the great hour of our Salvation.

By the proclamation of the Passion we are finally placed before the great hour of our Salvation.  We anticipate the events of Holy Week right up to the silence of the tomb.  Let us therefore join the Lord's great hour by preparing for it with prayer, fasting and almsgiving.  Let us listen to the words of Our Lord Jesus and contemplate His actions that are overflowing with love and mercy.  

Palm Sunday inaugurates Holy Week

Palm Sunday inaugurates Holy Week


By Vatican Congregation for the Clergy
Catholic Online (
4/2/2012 (5 years ago)

Published in Lent / Easter

Keywords: Palm Sunday, Passion Sunday, Holy Week, Vatican, Clergy, Jerusalem

P>VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - In the entrance procession that starts today's Liturgy, the Church reveals an unimaginable treasure for our contemplation as we stand beside the disciples and the rejoicing crowd observing Christ's humble entrance into Jerusalem on a foal.

Through the First Reading and the Psalm we hear of the 'trepidation' expressed in the Old Testament for the awaited Saviour that reaches out towards Mount Calvary, already having the scene of the crucifixion before their very eyes.

By the proclamation of the Passion we are finally placed before the great hour of our Salvation.  We anticipate the events of Holy Week right up to the silence of the tomb.  Let us therefore join the Lord's great hour by preparing for it with prayer, fasting and almsgiving.  Let us listen to the words of Our Lord Jesus and contemplate His actions that are overflowing with love and mercy.  

They are actions which, notwithstanding the experience of our weakness before the force of evil, give us the light of divine Mercy and are the only thing that can renew and make us solid in the faith.  The second reading helps us to understand that a very special light originated from the Mystery of the Annunciation in which we celebrate the very instance of the Son of God's human existence reminding us: 

"Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.  Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness." (Phil 2: 6)  From Mary of Nazareth's 'yes' the Lord Jesus took flesh from her immaculate womb and so initiated that truly Priestly love that would find its fulfilment in the cry of the cross.

Through the Liturgy we have a privileged perspective that helps us to contemplate the Gospel account 'together' in the Church, which was born from Christ's wounded side, because we are able to behold the events that the Apostles didn't understand. 

Christ instituted the Sacrament of His Presence and His Sacrifice with immense love knowing He would be misunderstood, betrayed and abandoned by those He loved the most.  He allows us to behold the love and humility with which He affirmed His identity as the Son of God, accepting insults, beatings, flagellation and, finally, crucifixion.   

This privileged perspective also calls us to a radical humility as, having witnessed the cowardice with which Judas handed the Master over to the High Priest, and having accompanied Peter to the courtyard where he betrayed the Lord three times, we are able to recognise our own fragility.  We are all fragile, we are all sinners and our freedom is strengthened and illuminated only by grace.

We must, therefore, ask ourselves what saved Peter and not Judas from the slavery of betrayal?  They were both Apostles and both loved by Christ.  Also, we must ask what will save us from the darkness of sin?  What, in the end, enables us to start again even if we can't confide in ourselves?  Certainly, there are not general rules because he who was scandalised by the use of perfumed oil abandoned the Lord only a short while later. 

Having a 'fair and pharisaic' passion for God won't save us as that 'virtue' caused the High Priest to tear his clothes accusing Christ of blasphemy when He is the same God the High Priest was 'defending'.  Neither is Salvation about personal commitment as Peter perjured himself saying that he would rather die than betray the Master, only a few hours later to hear the cock crow stripping him of his fine words. 

What will allow us to withstand the cross, to endure the contempt of the world and the prospect of death?  The answer is sincerely, totally and freely being 'compromised' with Christ.  To allow Christ that look of love that comes before any merit and embraces every limitation and sin.  Only then will we have the strength to stay at the foot of the cross. 

Let us ask Our Lady of Sorrows, who silently stayed at the foot of the cross, to obtain the grace of total commitment for us; the grace to say 'yes' with her and so accept whatever sorrow that brings.  Amen!

Citations of
Mc 11,1-10:
Is 50,4-7:  
Ph 2,6-11:  
Mc 15,1-39:  


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'

Copyright 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for JANUARY 2018
Religious Minorities in Asia.
That Christians, and other religious minorities in Asian countries, may be able to practise their faith in full freedom.


More Lent & Easter

'So it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead'

Luke 24:46

Lent Event


Ash Wednesday

March 1, 2017

Image of Ash Wednesday Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It takes place 46 days before Easter Sunday. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting... continue reading

Palm Sunday

April 9, 2017

Image of Palm Sunday Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in all four canonical Gospels... continue reading

Holy Week

April 9 - 15, 2017

Image of Holy Week On Palm Sunday, we celebrate the first joy of the season, as we celebrate Our Lord's triumphant entrance into Jerusalem where he was welcomed by... continue reading

Holy Thursday

April 13, 2017

Image of Holy Thursday Holy Thursday is the most complex and profound of all religious observances. It celebrates his last supper with the disciples, a celebration of Passover... continue reading

Good Friday

April 14, 2017

Image of Good Friday On Good Friday, each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption. In the solemn ceremonies of Holy Week... continue reading

Easter Sunday

April 16, 2017

Image of Easter Sunday Easter is the principal feast of the ecclesiastical year. Leo I calls it the greatest feast, and says that Christmas is celebrated only in preparation for Easter... continue reading

Stations of the Cross

Every Friday

Image of Stations of the Cross Stations of the Cross refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion... continue reading

Fasting and Abstinence

Every Friday

Image of Fasting and Abstinence For most people the easiest practice to consistently fulfill will be the traditional one, to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year. During Lent abstinence from meat on Fridays is obligatory in the... continue reading

Image of What did you give up for Lent? From the humorous to the bizarre, people have had interesting Lenten experiences. Tell us about what you are going to give up for this Lenten Year... continue reading

Ascension of Our Lord

Thursday May 25, 2017

Image of Ascension of Our Lord The Ascension of Our Lord, a Holy Day of Obligation, celebrates the day that Christ, in the presence of His apostles, ascended bodily into Heaven. The Ascension occurred on the 40th day of Easter, a Thursday... continue reading


Sunday, June 4, 2017

Image of Pentecost Pentecost Sunday is one of the most ancient feasts of the Church, celebrated early enough to be mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles (20:16) and Corinthians (16:8)... continue reading

Image of Lent FAQ's Everything answered from when does lent end, ashes, giving something up, stations of the cross and blessed palms. The key to understanding the meaning of Lent is simple... continue reading

Mardi Gras

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Image of Mardi Gras In France, the people feasted on foods that would be given up during the forty days of Lent. Meats, eggs, and milk were finished off in one day, giving the holiday its French title of 'Mardi Gras' which means Fat Tuesday... continue reading

Image of Transformed by Easter The Resurrection of Jesus is the crowning truth of our faith in Christ, a faith believed and lived as the central truth by the first Christian community... continue reading

Image of Appearances He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. - Matthew 28:6. Learn more about the Post-Resurrection Appearances of Jesus Christ... continue reading

Image of Easter Gifts offers a variety of Easter gifts & Easter treats for all ages! Choose a gift for someone special and celebrate the joy of Easter... continue reading

Easter / Lent News

Inspire: Easter Beyond the Octave. Why Do We Celebrate for Fifty Days?

Image of Christ my hope is risen, and he goes before you into Galilee.

While Easter is a Solemnity and an octave feast, it is also a 50 day season until Pentecost.The Season of Easter is not just about His ... continue reading

Reflecting on the Resurrection: Why did Jesus Rise with Wounds?

Image of The empty tomb and the neatly folded burial cloths point to us that Jesus is physically alive.  His crucified body has been transformed.  What lesson is he teaching us by keeping his wounds intact?

What lesson is the Lord teaching us by keeping his wounds intact? Perhaps we can better answer this question by turning to our own wounds. ... continue reading

I Am Dismas and This Is My Story

Image of

As a teenager I ran into someone who introduced me to the finer points of the occupation. We fell into the tried and proven method of ... continue reading

HOLY SATURDAY: The Whole Earth Keeps Silence Watch

Image of The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep.

Something strange is happening - there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence ... continue reading

On the Friday We Call Good, the Whole World Stands Still Watch

Image of

Today as we contemplate the Passion we also plumb the mystery and meaning of the Church. We are members of His Body. She was born ... continue reading

The Lent and Easter Season... by

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Catholic Online MasterClass
Learn from experts

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Catholic Media Missionaries
The New Evangelization

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.