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During Holy Week, embrace actions that glorify God, Bishop Burbidge says on Palm Sunday

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During Holy Week, Catholics are invited to leave behind any actions that say, “Crucify him,” and instead embrace actions that glorify Jesus Christ, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge said during Mass for Palm Sunday, April 14, at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington. 

“It is very unsettling to join with the crowd in the reading of today’s Passion, saying ‘Crucify him. Crucify him.’ After all, Jesus was one who proclaimed God’s mercy and love, forgave sins, healed the sick, fed the poor and embraced the vulnerable,” Bishop Burbidge said in his homily. “Yet the crowd said, ‘Crucify him. Crucify him.’ In reality, that continues today. Not through our words, but rather through our actions that wound Jesus and fracture the body of Christ. It occurs when we fail to obey the commands of God and the truth of the Gospel; when we do not allow time in our lives to be with Jesus, especially in prayer; when we do not honor our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit, and do not see Christ in our brothers and sisters.”

Holy Week is a time for actions that say, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest,” Bishop Burbidge continued, quoting a passage from the Gospel reading. Catholics can draw strength from the Eucharist as the Triduum approaches, he said. 

“On Good Friday, we will not run from Jesus. We will not run from the cross,” Bishop Burbidge said. “We will unite whatever suffering or burden we are carrying in our lives this very moment to his, with the sure belief that by his cross and resurrection he has redeemed the world.”

The Mass was concelebrated by Father Robert J. Rippy, cathedral rector. Deacon Nicholas Blank assisted. After Mass, Bishop Burbidge blessed the alfombra — a colorful sawdust carpet — created by Alfo-Conce, a Guatemalan group. Father Christopher P. Christensen, parochial vicar, then blessed the palms for the next Mass, which was celebrated in Spanish, and processed across the carpet into the cathedral. 

Bishop Burbidge is scheduled to celebrate the Chrism Mass at 10:30 a.m. and Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7:30 p.m. on Holy Thursday at the cathedarl. He also will celebrate the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion at 3 p.m. at the cathedral. 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019

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