Thank you to everyone who makes this radio broadcast possible. Today, Palm Sunday, the day Easter begins. We read the gospel text that gives rise to the celebration of the blessed guano. It is the gospel according to Mark, chapter 11, verses 1 through 10.
The people sang: blessed is he who comes in the name of God. Blessed Jesus, come to our house and thus teach us how husband and wife can love each other more and sash less.
Lord Jesus come to our house and be a teacher of our children and so that they can be more honest, more affectionate with the old men of the house, help more in the housework, be protagonists of family harmony, fill the home with joy with their laughter, their occurrences, their songs, their youth.
Lord Jesus come to our ward. There are very good people there like your friends Lazarus, Martha, Mary, Jairus, Peter’s mother-in-law, John the Baptist and others.
Tonight we tell you the good deeds that many good people have had with our family. Visit them, they need your congratulations and your encouragement so they don’t get tired of doing good without expecting anything in return.
Blessed art you, Jesus, come to the houses of the widow, of the mother who mourns the death of her daughter or son, of whom she is paralyzed, sick.
Come to the house of the abandoned wife who fights and works alone for her children. Come to the prisoner’s mother’s house, comfort her whole family.
Lord Jesus, come and leave in all our ward your love, your peace, your hope and in this Holy Week we will all smile.
VOICE: “Come to us, Lord, when night invades us. Come to us on the night of disappointment. Come to us on the night of the foul. Come to us on the night of anguish. Come to us on the night of hate. Come to us on the night of lost love. Come to us on the night of restlessness. Come to us on the night of the pain. Come to us on the night of the interrogation. Come to us on the night of rejection. Come to us on breakup night. Come to us on the night of hopelessness. Come to us on night out of nowhere. Come to us on the night of death. Come to me on my night and stay with me, my God, every time I’m in the night. Amen.”
At the beginning of Holy Week, Pope Francis speaks to us:
VOICE: “The liturgy of the fifth Sunday of Lent proclaims the Gospel in which St. John recounts an episode that occurred in the last days of Christ’s life, shortly before passion. While Jesus was in Jerusalem for the Feast of Easter, some Greeks, curious about what He was doing, expressed their desire to see him. They approached the Apostle Philip and said, ‘We want to see Jesus. We want to see Jesus.’ Let us remember this desire: ‘We want to see Jesus.’ Philip tells Andrew and then together they will tell the Master. In the request of those Greeks we can see the pleas that many men and women, in every place and time, lead to the Church and also to each of us: ‘We want to see Jesus’. Also today many people, often, without saying it implicitly, would like to see Jesus, find him, know him. This makes us understand the great responsibility of Christians and our communities. We too must respond with the testimony of a life that is given in service, of a life that takes upon itself the style of God, closeness, compassion, and tenderness, and gives itself in service. It is about sowing seeds of love not with words that the wind takes, but with concrete, simple and courageous examples. Not with theoretical condemnations but with gestures of love. Then the Lord, with his grace, makes us fruitful, even in the arid ground by misunderstandings, difficulties or persecutions, or pretensions of clerical legalism or moralism. This is arid ground, precisely then, in trial and in solitude, as the seed dies, it is the moment when life springs to bear ripe fruit in its time. It is in this plot of death and life that we can experience the joy and true fruitfulness of love that always, I repeat, occurs in God’s style: closeness, compassion, tenderness. May the Virgin Mary help us to follow Jesus, to walk strong and happy on the path of service, so that the love of Christ may shine in all our attitudes and become, increasingly, the style of our daily life”.
Blessed guano and other religious signs remind us that we are celebrating Holy Week. As much as possible, let’s place religious signs on the refrigerator door, the room, the room, where we create more convenient. Seeing them will help us live a good Easter. Let’s look at the sky and the full moon. Under that same full moon we contemplated, Jesus celebrated the last supper with his apostles. He was crucified, killed, buried and resurrected and lives forever. This Easter, under this very full moon, let’s all eat together sitting around the table. Let us do a little prayer before we eat and talk, like Jesus and the Apostles, how to love each other more. Before we sleep, like Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, let us pray together the Our Father with the children of the house and the next day, before we go out into the street, let us make a sign of the cross on the forehead of those who come out. And now we turn to our father God, with the prayer that Jesus Christ taught us:
“Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come to us. Thy will be done on earth as in Heaven. Give us our daily bread today. Forgive our offenses, as we forgive those who offend us. Do not let us fall into temptation and deliver us from evil. Amen.”
And now we hear God praying for us. God tells us:
“My son who art on earth, worried, lonely, tempted, I know your name perfectly and pronounce it as sanctifying it because I love you. No, you are not alone, but inhabited by me and together we build this kingdom from which you will be the heir. I like you to do my will, because my will is for you to be happy, for the glory of God is the living man. Always count on me and you’ll have the bread for today. Don’t worry, I’m just asking you to share it with your brothers. You know I forgive all your offenses before you even commit them. That’s why I’m asking you to do the same with those who offend you. So you never fall into temptation, hold on tight to my hand. Amen.”
Jesus Christ on the cross prayed Psalm 22, the custom of the Israelites when they lived through difficult times. We pray Psalm 22 united to Jesus Christ:
VOICE: “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Oh, my God, my God, why did you abandon me? Why are you oblivious to my cry, to the roar of my words? Oh, my God, I call you by day and you don’t answer, at night and I can’t find any rest. Although you dwell in the sanctuary, the glory of Israel. Our parents trusted you, trusted them, and you made them safe. They cried out to you and were free, they trusted you, and you didn’t let them down. But I am a worm, not a man, shame of humanity, disgust of the people. When they see me, they mock me, they wince, they wiggle their heads, and they say, ‘He came to the Lord, to make him safe, that he should free him if he loves him so much.’
“It was you who pulled me out of my womb. You trusted my mother’s breasts. From the bosom they entrusted me to you, from the womb you are my God. Don’t stay away, the danger is coming and no one’s going to help me. I’m cornered by a piece of steers, Besán bulls engender me, open up against me their jaws lions that quarter and roar. I spill like water, my bones are broken, my heart as wax melts inside me, my throat is dry like a shingle, my tongue stuck to my palate, sink me into the dust of death. Some dogs corner me. I get fenced by a band of evil ones, my hands and feet immobilize me, I can count all my bones. They look at me triumphantly, they hand out my dresses, they draw my robe. But you, Lord, don’t stay away. My strength, come soon to help me, free my life from the sword, my only life from the clutches of the mastiff, save me from the jaws of the lion, defend me from the horns of the buffalo. I’ll tell my brothers your fame, praise you in the middle of the assembly.
“Faithful of the Lord, raise him up. Descendants of Jacob, glorify him. Keep him, descendants of Israel because he has not scorned or despised the misfortune of the son of a, he has not hidden his face from him. When he asked for help, he heard it.
“I will praise you incessantly in the great assembly, fulfill my vows before the faithful, eat the poor until they are satisfied, and praise the Lord those who seek, never lose their spirits. All the ends of the earth will be remembered and returned to the Lord, all the families of the peoples will prostrate in their presence, for the Lord is king, he rules the peoples. Before him, those who sleep on the earth will prostrate, in his presence those who come down to dust will be hunched over. My life will preserve him, my offspring will serve him, he will speak of my God to generations to come, he will tell his righteousness to the unborn people, so the Lord acted.”
Have you ever felt identified with the first verses of Psalm 22? Have you ever felt identified with verses 23 through 32? Pray sincerely repeating Psalm 22 several times throughout Holy Week, and approach a person who feels abandoned by God in his affliction and is for her a manifestation of God the Father’s love and care. We bow our heads to receive the blessing, at the end of each invocation we pray: “Amen”.
The God, father of mercy, who in the passion of his Son has given us an example of love, gives us by surrender to God and to men the best of his blessings. Amen.
And that thanks to the temporal death of Christ, who drove eternal death away from us, we obtain the gift of an endless life. Amen.
And so, imitating his example of humility, let us participate one day in his glorious Resurrection. Amen.
And the blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit descend upon you and remain forever. Amen.
Below we fully offer the allocution of the Archbishop of Havana, Cardinal Juan de la Caridad García.