With Palm Sunday of the Passion of Our Lord we begin Holy Week.
Day-by-day we move with Jesus through the final days and hours of His life on earth: the days of our Redemption. I would like to remind us of the deep spiritual significance of these days ahead. On Palm Sunday we commemorate the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem; this is where He will accomplish those saving acts. On Wednesday evening at 7pm in Brentwood Cathedral, there will be the Mass of Chrism, during which the Holy Oils for use in the coming year are blessed; the Priests also renew their commitment to service in the Priesthood.
The final two weeks of Lent - Passiontide - brings us closer to the highpoint of the liturgical year: the Sacred Triduum of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord; Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Day. We shall spend these days considering the infinite love of God, who permitted His Son to suffer for our sins. The whole meaning of the Christian life is summed-up in the Cross, and although our crucifixes and images are veiled in purple now, it is so that when they are unveiled on Good Friday, the whole drama of the mysteries of our salvation are made manifest. So, although we veil images and objects at certain times, this is only so that our sense of anticipation be heightened, and when the veils are taken away, we may see the Mysteries with fresh eyes.
Each week I try to present an image on the Newsletter of some piece of Catholic Art that relates to the Gospel of the day, one of other Readings or some theme in the liturgy of the season. The Parable of the Prodigal Son has been depicted by many artists, simply because it is one of the most famous short stories ever told. The painting this week is by Jacopo Palmo (1544-1628). You will know from being at Mass that I have been making a more extensive catechesis of the Sacrament of Confession over these Sundays of Lent.