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Today is the feast day of St. Martin I, Pope and Martyr. He is the last pope to be venerated as a martyr.
“Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, says the LORD,
and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.” (Ez 8:31, Lectionary)
Next week is Holy Week, a very busy time for parishes. Pray in thanksgiving for the priests and lay ministers in your community as they prepare for the days ahead.
Prepare for Mass tomorrow by reading this short explanation about why you will receive a palm when you arrive:
The truth behind this tradition goes to the story of Palm Sunday, when the people heard that Christ was coming and "they took out palm branches and went out to meet him and cried out 'Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, [even] the king of Israel'" (John 12:13). It was a tradition to spread palms before a king as he processed into his city. It was a way to welcome him, to show him glory and homage. Thus, Christ, the true King, was welcomed into Jerusalem. This fulfilled the prophecy in the Old Testament, which declared, "Behold: your king is coming to you, a just savior is he, humble and riding on a donkey." (Zech. 9:9) It revealed that Christ was a great king, but also a humble king. The people greeted him with wild joy and cheers of Hosanna. But one short week later, they crucified him. We celebrate this feast and carry palm branches home with us to commemorate the great humility of Our Lord, who loved us so much that he chose the cross for our salvation.
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