Palm Sunday Procession and Liturgy at Loyola Jesuit College Abuja, Nigeria

Palm Sunday : A Journey of Love like no other

GIVEN THE INITIAL feeling of students who, if the school calendar had remained the same, would have gone home for the Second Term holiday, I would like to think that most students do not like the idea of the in-school holiday. After weeks of rigorous academic work, you want to break from the routine of school life, cool off with friends and family! I had plans on how I wanted to celebrate Easter. However angry I was to the event that caused a change in our school calendar, I was also open to the new experiences of in-school Palm Sunday, in-school Holy Week and in-school Easter celebrations. The celebrations were amazing. Palm Sunday through Easter is a journey of love like no other.

Holding palm leaves as victory sign in favor of Jesus Christ (as He enters Jerusalem) and listening to Bible story of the event, I was quite amazed at the difference between the ancient and the modern ways of life. If the Palm Sunday event of the ancient were to take place today it would have begun from social media; there might be printed shirts and other souvenirs with inscriptions appropriate for the event. Instead of riding on a donkey or an ass, Jesus would probably have to ride in a Pope mobile-like vehicle. I like the conviction of those who walked with Jesus and sang kingly songs to him.

The  Holy  Week’s  Easter triduum  was a  succession of three  days  (Holy  Thursday, Good  Friday and  Holy Saturday). Holy Thursday was a day dedicated to remembering, partly, how Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. It was a show of a true servant-leader. Stations of the Cross was beautifully dramatized on Good Friday by the SS3 students. As the whole school walked those fourteen redemptive steps, I appreciated all that God has done and is doing in my life, and in the world. It made me recognize how much God really loves us all. Holy Saturday brought us closer to the reality of Easter. The readings were as graphic at they can students were reassuring of God’s presence in our midst. Even though sometimes it may seem as if He isn’t listening or present, all we have to do is be faithful, patient and pray.
Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter celebrations, in general, felt like an air of personal spiritual rebirth. It is, actually! It reminded me of Christ’s suffering in order that we may have a share in God’s Kingdom. The whole journey towards Easter is bumpy but it has a happy ending. It is a love journey from sorrow to JOY.

Amarikwa Alexis