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Palm Sunday homily: Jesus told me what to say. I said it: Be this woman in Holy Week!

There are two homilies on Palm Sunday, one after the first Gospel immediately preceding the procession, and another (required to be short) after the reading of the Passion of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, this time from the Gospel of Mark. There will be plenty of talk about Jesus and dearest Immaculate Mary as Holy Week and the Sacred Triduum take us deeper in the Most Sacred Mysteries. But today Jesus Himself explicitly requires that we priests speak about the Spikenard Lady, for, He says:

  • “Amen, I say to you, whenever the gospel is proclaimed to the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”

So, I have to do it. I rejoice to say something of her. I want to say to Jesus at the gates of heaven: “I only did what I had to do.” I dare say that I point to what Jesus wants us priests to say. I am a ruffian, unrefined, so don’t expect finesse. But I think I get it right precisely because I know how bad and evil I could be without the grace of God. I would be Judas, who harasses this Spikenard Lady. But with grace (please God!), I think I see a glimmer of the greatness of her spirit, the incisiveness of her accusation of Judas – truly risking her own life – a glimmer of how much she has suffered to get her to this point. What a magnificent woman. We must be this woman during Holy Week, and onwards.

Dearest Spikenard Lady, pray for us that we might have some share of the purity of heart, the agility of soul that you have been granted by the Holy Ghost!

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