Dimapur, April 14: Catholic churches in Nagaland observed Palm Sunday today to commemorate the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.
In the State capital Kohima, a Palm Sunday procession was held where hundreds of Catholic faithful from all walks of life carrying palm leaves marched from Old MLA Hostel Junction and proceeded to St.Francis de Sales (SFS) Parish, Kohima town.
Palm Sunday mass was also celebrated with parish priest Rev. Fr. Richard Fernandes as the main celebrant.
The solemn event also marks the beginning of the “Holy Week.”
Meanwhile, St Xavier Catholic Church Kidima observed the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, a procession with palm leaf from Thokhwezu to Church with Reverend Father Siby John, Parish Priest as main Celebrant a Palm Sunday on April 14.
Fr Siby John said Palm Sunday was the day rejoicing and passion of the Lord. Holy week begins from Palm Sunday which observed and worship with devotion and confession, passion, Maundy Thursday the Last Supper of Lord with Apostles, washing of the Apostles, Jesus prayed in Gethsemane, crucifixation of Jesus and resurrection of the Lord, Parish Priest added.
He appealed the faithful people for self- evangelisation and transformation of life.
Reading of the passion of the Lord, Holy Mass and enchanting of the hymn were the daylong celebration of the Palm Sunday as begun the holy week.
The Chakhesang Baptist Church Kohima (CBCK) today observed ‘Palm Sunday’ at the church premises.
Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) general secretary Rev. Dr. Zelhou Keyho spoke on the topic “The coming King.”
As we celebrate the last journey of Jesus to Jerusalem which the gospel writers call it the “triumphal entry” on a donkey, there is the danger of making the journey impersonal, said Rev. Dr. Keyho.
There is the danger to become too fanciful in our celebration of events and forget the real meaning of the celebration, he said adding “We import too much of what it is not meant to be and forget the real meaning.”
“Today, palm branches have become the focus and we forget the branches cut from the trees and from the field. The focus is not on what they use but what they did to welcome Jesus. The expression of heart is more important that the object they use. During the entry the expression was one of excitements but there was no personalization of the event. It is not enough to ascribe Jesus as the prophet, and son of David. He is the one sent by God and above all to reconcile us to God,” he said.
Rev. Dr. Keyho said that Jesus came to save us. He came bringing salvation to us.
“Jesus longs to enter into our heart more than entering into the city, Jerusalem. He longs to bring the peace of God to us. This Sunday as we celebrate the Triumphal Entry of Jesus to Jerusalem, let us celebrate by opening our heart to him and experience His salvation. If we don’t celebrate for what Jesus came for, it will be just festivity or an activity without any personal impact in our lives. It will be like celebrating hornbill festivity without knowing what hornbill looks like. Jesus must become personal in our lives. He must live in us not only in our belief system but also in our actions,” the NBCC general secretary said.
The service was led by Rev. Dr. Vetso Koza.
(Page News Service)