Bishop Richard J. Malone used his homily at the start of Holy Week at St. Joseph Cathedral in downtown Buffalo on Mar. 29, to remind worshipers, "God's holy word on Palm Sunday is a meditation on the meaning of suffering in God's plan of salvation."
Constant anxiety in our lives can leave us weary, the bishop said. "The glory of this Holy Week, in God's loving design, strangely, suffering can have power to yield new life."
The bishop noted there is new life for us too, if we walk with Jesus.
He said suffering, united with Christ's pain, can be redemptive and ultimately, bring victory. "This is why Jesus plunged into the depths human misery."
"At the beginning of this Holy Week, as we take up our palm branches, let us, in the words of St. Andrew of Crete, 'Run to accompany him as he hastens toward his passion. And imitate those who met him, not by covering his path with garments, olive branches or palms, but by doing all we can to prostrate ourselves before him, by being humble and by trying to live as he would wish. Then, we shall be able to receive the word at his coming and God, whom no limits can contain, will be within us.'"
Among those attending the Mass were members of The Little Flowers Girls' Club, girls from age five to early teens who take part in virtue-based activities. There are current eight Little Flower chapters in the Diocese of Buffalo.
Holy Week continues at the cathedral Tuesday evening at 7 p.m., with the Chrism Mass. As the principal celebrant, Bishop Malone will bless three urns of oil, the oil of catechumens, used to bless those who are about to be baptized; the oil of chrism that is used in the Sacrament of Baptism, the Sacrament of Confirmation and the Sacrament of Holy Orders; and the oil of the sick which is used in the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick.
Priests and deacons from throughout the diocese will take the oil to their parishes for use throughout the year.