Heavy snow meant that the Blessing of Palms and Solemn Procession had to take place inside Liverpool's Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King on Palm Sunday, 24 March 2013.
Bishop Tom Williams, Apostolic Administrator for the Archdiocese of Liverpool, blessed the palms and led the procession at the beginning of Solemn Mass.
In his homily following the singing of the Passion according to Saint Luke, the Bishop told the congregation that Holy Week is not just a simple drama but a time when 'our journey of faith and prayer, our conversation between the Divine and the human takes on a dramatic form'.
He went on to remind people that Holy Week is real and prayed that Holy week may change our lives forever.
Homily preached by the Right Reverend Thomas Williams, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Liverpool, at Solemn Mass on Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, 24 March 2013. 11.00 am in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool.
We’ve just taken part in the most beautiful drama, so beautifully done.
During this, our Holy Week, I invite you all of you to join me in our Cathedral so that we can gather together as one Family of Faith to enter into the Heart of the Redemptive Mystery, around which our faith revolves.
This is a time to allow, to the depth of our own being, a heavenly reality, beyond the here and now, to infuse our own lives.
Our Holy Week, our journey of faith and prayer, our conversation between the Divine and the human takes on a dramatic form.
The contrasting dramas of joy and sorrow, acceptance and denial, agony and ecstasy, life and death, despair and resurrection.
I invite you all, not just to listen like a theatre audience, but to actively take part. We take part by opening our hearts and minds. We take part by playing a part in the drama, to get close to the action, so choose a character, a person from Jesus’ own dramatic week, maybe one of the apostles, remember they all ran away or denied the Lord. The woman in the courtyard who heard Peter’s denial. She was a witness. Veronica, the carer who wiped the face of Jesus or the guards who scourged him. Those who crowned him with thorns, or pierced his side or maybe one of the Pharisees who gloated and mocked him; maybe Simon of Cyrene who helped him to carry his cross. They all played a human part, so let us open our hearts to the reality of our own lives. How often do those characters reflect our own attitude and our own actions?
Holy Week was real, it was not an invention, it’s not just a play. It was life-changing week for all who took part, a watershed in their lives. May we reflect on our lives and may it change us forever.