We Cry “Hosanna!”
My almost constant prayer these days is “Please, Lord, save us!” I learned today that the meaning of the word “Hosanna” is just that. We will hear “Hosanna” multiple times at Mass this weekend. Yes, we will be pleading for help and we will also be showing gratitude for what Jesus has done. Both refer to how we are doing spiritually.
Lent is so different for all of us this year. In many ways, we have been pushed into a desert, a kind of disorientation that leaves us anxious and not sure what will happen next. We walk with Jesus during the next few days, more intentionally focused on how we enter into the passion, death, and resurrection.
Jesus’ journey to the cross begins with a humble entry into Jerusalem. We refer to this Sunday as Palm Sunday. Like Ash Wednesday, we leave church with something tangible, a sacramental, and a reminder of our participation in holy work, the work of the people, Holy Week. We remember what Jesus did for us and we plead to be remembered by Jesus. Please, Lord, save us!
Palm Sunday without palms? Hmmm! What to do? This pandemic is forcing us to think about the essence of things, to explore meanings and to use our creativity to not only “make do” but also to create new understandings, new practices and new ways of participating.
Not everyone in the world has access to palms. In some countries, other types of greenery suffice. Let it be so with us. Choosing our “palms” and displaying them makes the event more meaningful. And the days that follow will include other choices that we make about how we participate in Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil.
These days are filled with opportunities for Spiritual Communion. Yes, we desire to receive Jesus in our being through reception of the Eucharist. That desire is REAL and declares our being in union, in communion. Our display of “palms,” our praise, worship, and gratitude expressed in our homes, the domestic church is also Spiritual Communion. We are all in! We are all together—in new ways!
So we pray: Lord hear us. Lord save us. Please help us, please show us how to create something new. Thank you, God. Thank you for walking with me, for making a new way for me and for my family! Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna!