“Do not fear anything, I am with you. These matters are in My hands and I will bring them to fruition according to My mercy, for nothing can oppose My will. Do not fear anything; I am always with you.”
Words of Jesus to Faustina recounted in her Diary, par. 573 & 613
To fully understand and appreciate today’s scene let us review God’s instructions to Moses and Aaron concerning the first Passover. That night, the angel of death advanced through the land of Egypt, killing the firstborn of every family, “passing over” those houses where families had celebrated the feast and painted the lamb’s blood on the doorposts and lintels. God’s instructions began: “This month shall stand at the head of your calendar… on the tenth of this month every one of your families must procure for itself a lamb” (Ex. 12:2-3). God then tells Moses when to slaughter the lamb – “on the fourteenth day of the month” – and exactly how the meal is to be prepared, celebrated and eaten.
The feast of the Passover, commemorating the Exodus, which delivered the Hebrews from their slavery to the Egyptians, is still the high point of the Jewish year. Jesus and the Apostles celebrated this feast the same as other Jews – “on the fourteenth day of the month” – and it was this celebration, on what is now Holy Thursday, that became known to us as the Last Supper. We need only count backward four days – Wednesday, Tuesday, Monday, Sunday – to realize that on the tenth day of the month, Palm Sunday, the whole human race procured for itself their Lamb of God for the sacrifice that would occur later in the week. Not unlike the original Passover, the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross would lead us to a new life, free from the slavery of sin.
What begins today, Palm Sunday, is the Holiest Week of the Church year. It is an opportunity for us to relive the Holy Humility of Jesus Christ who, out of obedience to Our Father and His eternal love for all mankind, offered Himself up in atonement for our sins.