Palm Sunday is the great doorway leading into Holy Week, the week when the Lord Jesus makes His way towards the culmination of His earthly existence. He goes up to Jerusalem in order to fulfill the Scriptures, and to be nailed to the wood of the Cross, the throne from which He will reign forever, drawing to Himself humanity of every age and offering to all the gift of redemption.-Pope Benedict XVI, 2012 Palm Sunday homily.
Fr. Z has the text, with commentary, of Francis's first Palm Sunday homily as Pope HERE. It reminds me of my favorite Psalm, 42 in the traditional numbering, which is important. There is continuity with last Sunday, because this Psalm is the Introit for V-Lent/Passion Sunday. It sets the tone for Passiontide, which of course finishes with the commemoration of Our Lord's Passion on Good Friday. Introibo ad altare dei, ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meam, as one can read at the top of the blog, and hear in the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar...those should be restored to the Mass as they fully and concretely express in a short way what the priest is about to embark upon. I mean, the connection to the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar are just one liturgical way to look at the start of Holy Week.That just scratches the surface of the Paschal Mystery.
It also is important because it reminds us that God brings joy, and while there will be sorrow (Stabat Mater dolorosa...) we should never feel depressed and downtrodden for God is always with us, and is our anchor.
The Vexilla Regis, so wonderfully sang in the metrical translation by the choir today, sets the tone for Holy Week. It is somber, for now we know that the priests are ready to kill Christ, that Judas will betray Him, and that the cries of the people will soon be turned by most to "Crucify him! Crucify him!"