Bishop of Leeds says that life is a journey of triumph and suffering
Christian faithful all over the world gathered in churches for the annual celebration of Palm Sunday for the start of the most sacred week in the Christian calendar known as Holy Week.
In Leeds, the Palm Sunday procession began at the square of the Leeds Art Gallery where the Blessing of the Palms took place. Bishop Marcus Stock of Leeds Diocese said the blessing, assisting the bishop were priests, deacons and altar servers in the presence of Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Ashgar Khan.
The first reading was taken from the Gospel of St Luke chapter 19 which told the congregation about Jesus’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem.
After the blessing of the palms, Bishop Marcus, the priests, Councillor Khan, the choir then led a procession of the faithful to the St Anne’s Cathedral singing the traditional Palm Sunday processional hymn All Glory, Laud, and Honour where the celebration took place.
The second Gospel was taken from St Luke where the Christian faithful were informed of Christ trial, sufferings and his eventual death on the cross.
In his homily, Bishop Marcus said the liturgy today confronts us with two supernatural days in the life of Jesus Christ. Two days separated in Time but united in the mystery that both enfold. The first day was a triumphant day a victorious king riding on a colt into Jerusalem. The crowd singing “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna” That day is Palm Sunday which was celebrated outside.
The second day , the bishop continued, was Passion Sunday which we are celebrating inside the church. Passion Sunday shows suffering and death; a derided wounded and condemned Jesus, the same crowd saying “Crucify him.” The liturgy taking us on a journey which is significant for all mankind and for all Time.
“The Church invites us to partake in the journey during Holy Week.” He said.
The Leeds bishop said it was significant because what the media shows to us everyday not just in Ukraine but all over the world was self sacrifice, suffering, death, horrible death but at the same time great courage and hope of new life to come.
He went on to say that every year the Church celebrates the mystery of Christ’s Passion it is an opportunity for humanity to put all their present pain, anguish, loss and grief with the Lord’s journey to Calvary where he was crucified. Because at the end our hopes and desires will rise with the Resurrection.
“On this Palm Sunday, let us enter mystically into Jerusalem with Jesus.” The bishop appealed because journeying with Jesus during Holy Week and sharing in his Passion. We will become messengers of his peace and love he concluded.
By our reporter in Leeds.