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Reflecting on Palm Sunday 2019

I’m having a terrible time writing a reflection for Palm Sunday.

I’ve been trying to come up with a good idea, but everything I come up with seems trite, too “pious.” Consequently, all kinds of unhelpful things are cluttering up my mind. Like what?

Like: When I was a kid and the Mass was all in Latin, was the Gospel read in Latin? Was that why it seemed so l-o-n-g?

Like: Why, when the Gospel is read by several people, do those of us in the pews always get the mean parts? “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!” Or “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself.” Or, best of all, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

Like: I wish I’d never said yes to writing this blog.

But, I did. So here’s my one slender thread of a thought.

Does Palm Sunday mark the beginning of the last chapter in the life of Jesus? Or does Palm Sunday mark the end of believing that there is a last chapter in the life of Jesus? Or in the life of any of us?

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Sister Denise Wilkinson

Sister Denise was the general superior of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods from 2006-2016. She previously served as a high school teacher, college administrator, postulant/novice director and director of advancement and communications for the Congregation. Currently, Sister Denise serves the Congregation in various volunteer positions.

Weekly Gospel reflections

A short and simple reflection on each Sunday’s Gospel reading written by a Sister of Providence or Providence Associate.

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  1. Paula Modaff, S.P. on April 13, 2019 at 6:32 pm

    This is so real and so you/us/all/Cosmic Christ, Denise. It will take me longer than all of Holy Week to answer your penetrating question with my life. For that I thank you.

  2. Bernadette Shonka, Obl.S.B. class of '68 on April 14, 2019 at 9:50 am

    Bishop Sheen’s famous quote: Communism lives the cross without Christ and the West tries to live Christ without the cross. We need to live Christ WITH the cross. Palm Sunday reminds me that everyone cheers Christ when things are going great, but when things get rough, we often fail to embrace the cross. Embracing the cross – sharing it with Jesus shows our faith, hope, & love.

  3. Marsha Speth, SP on April 14, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    I would go with your second question….I would like to believe it is the end of thinking this is the end…but it seems to take an affirmation of faith each time, again and again. Thank you for asking such a good question!

  4. Theresa Tighe on April 14, 2019 at 6:29 pm

    Beautiful. Gave new meaning to Palm Sunday and a little thrill of joy instead of hopelessness.

  5. Jennifer Nowalk on April 16, 2019 at 10:12 am

    The second question gives me place of meditation/mindfulness for this week. It’s simple enough for me to recall, perhaps written on a scrap of paper and carried in my pocket. It’s a hope filled question, as, I think, do the overwhelming catastrophic events, school shootings, Notre Dame Cathedral burning,, our government in free fall, are these events last chapters? Is it the last chapter in a 1st grader’s life? Or can I walk with Jesus in trust, that’s it’s not? Can a Cathedral be rebuilt to reflect the history but also the future of our faith, Can our government finds it’s way out of this lack of integrity and leadership?
    The third day of the Tridium leads me to believe these are not last Chapters, and to reflect how do I live during the journey?
    of the last week?
    Thank you sister Denise, for the meditation!

  6. Bob Slobig on April 18, 2019 at 11:21 pm

    All the memories and feels of the first few paragraphs lulls me into commiseration — uh-huh, me too, yeah it’s just like that … and the BAM! The question posed at the end knocks my socks off.
    So glad I read this tonight. Thank you for writing and posting it.
    And do another.

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