Apr. 07, 2023 03:46 PM
The community of faithful waving their palm fronds while hearing Palm Sunday mass in the Plaza San Juan Bautista area (Photo by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)
On the 2nd of April 2023, the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, which marks the beginning of Holy Week, the busiest and holiest week of the church’s liturgical calendar. This feast commemorates the majestically triumphant entry of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem. At the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, Rev. Fr. Rufino C. Sescon Jr., Rector, and Parish Priest, led the 1,550 devotees and parishioners for the first mass of Palm Sunday at four o’clock in the morning. The celebration started with a processional ceremony stretching from Quinta Market to Plaza Miranda, leading to the church.
In contemporary times, during Palm Sunday, every church commences its observance with a solemn procession of palm fronds carried by the faithful as the priest leads going to the church, reenacting the royal arrival of Jesus to Jerusalem. Jesus’ glorious passage to that city had received wide popular acclamation to the chant of “Hosanna to the Son of David” and “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” from the crowd revealing his Messianic Kingship as being the chosen descendant from the lineage of King David, who would be heir to God’s enduring kingdom. From the biblical accounts of Christ entering Jerusalem, palm branches were waved, signaling the peaceful acceptance and victory of Jesus as the much-awaited nation’s liberator and King of Israel, who will unite all people and nations under the reign of eternal supreme God. Throughout Jesus’ communal ministry, he proclaimed the coming of the Kingdom of God born out of unconditional love to deliver mankind from the consequences of original sin and death. This kind of love was emphasized during the homily of Rev. Fr. Sescon, wherein he expounds the significance of Holy Week centers on the greatest and highest gift the Father had given, which is the most precious life of His only begotten Son as demonstrated on the cross. Moreover, this Holy Week is about willful and sacrificial love in transforming our spiritual beings to become an alter Christus for the least, the lost, and the last in society.
Palm Sunday is beyond street spectacle or performance of display tracing to our cultural roots in the usage of palms. This celebration is not just paying homage to the victorious King, who has and will always come to conquer our hearts in the agape form, that is immeasurable, transcendent, and perfect in nature. In a more profound sense, this calls for solidarity with our fellow brethren to walk with Jesus as he invites us not only to follow in his footsteps but to respond to the call of his divine agape with faithfulness and commitment to loving one another.
– Kidanzac A. Tallada | EIAM & ADRM
The first Palm Sunday 2023 mass with a procession going to the church led by Rev. Fr. Rufino C, Sescon, Rector & Parish Priest, in reenactment of the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem (Photos by Social Communications Ministry (SOCCOMM), Quiapo Church)