Holy Week 2018: Palm Sunday


The Gospel of Mark records that after Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, "He entered Jerusalem and went into the temple area. He looked around at everything and, since it was already late, went out to Bethany with the Twelve" (Mk 11:11).  Although Mark does not specify who offered Him hospitality, there is a tradition that Our Lord spent that night at the house of Lazarus, Martha, and Mary, whom we know were dear to His heart.  In any event, the fact that Jesus was turned away from staying in Jerusalem that night by the hardness of men's hearts has long been seen as an invitation of Christian souls to open-hearted generosity with the King, acclaimed with regal greeting, and then rejected within a matter of hours.  Each of us seeks to make our soul a "Bethany," a place of rest and friendship for the Lord.

With this aspect of Palm Sunday's history in mind, we share a reflection from a holy Passionist nun, Venerable Mother Magdalena, on the time of Jesus' stay in the house of Martha and Mary.

What must the humble sinner have felt when the Savior responded so completely?  He came to her house to rest from the many labors and dangers of His apostolate.  Bethany, the happy home of [Mary] Magdalen, was the favorite place of Jesus.

This is the recompense the Savior is accustomed to give to those who totally surrender to His love.  He goes to their house to heap joy upon them and to be able to admit them freely to intimacy with Him.

Who can imagine the happiness of the loving penitent in the hours that she spent with the Master, her glance fixed on the divine countenance?  The Lord rests in the love of [Mary] Magdalen and she, after so much searching for love, finally stops at the feet of Jesus and her rest is complete.
— Venerable Mother Magdalena, CP Holiness is Love, p. 193

As we continue on through Holy Week, we will share more reflections from this ardent Passionist's heart!