[COLUMN] Hosanna to our King!

Friends, we’ve journeyed through Lent, and now we are approaching Holy Week. I hope that your Lenten journey has uplifted and inspired you to draw closer to God and that it has strengthened and nourished your faith. I pray that your response to His love, mercy, and presence in your life will lead to greater engagement in your Christian   Catholic faith. I also pray that more families will become actively involved in church life.

As we gather on this Passion Sunday, or Palm Sunday (March 24), to shout out hosannas to Jesus and commemorate His entry into Jerusalem before His crucifixion, it’s important to note that ‘Hosanna’ is often perceived as a shout of praise, akin to ‘Hallelujah,’ but it is, in fact, a plea for salvation. The Hebrew root words, found in Psalm 118:25 which says, ‘Save us, we pray, O LORD!’ (ESV), combine the words ‘yasha’ (meaning ‘deliver’ or ‘save’) and ‘anna’ (meaning ‘beg’ or ‘beseech’) to form the word ‘hosanna.’ Literally, hosanna means ‘I beg you to save!’ or ‘Please deliver us!’

During this Holy Week, our prayer is “hosanna,” especially in light of the current troubles facing the world. We cry out for deliverance from wars and conflicts, we beg for peace in our country and globally. We pray that world leaders will have the wisdom, courage, compassion, humility, and faith needed to resolve political conflicts both in our nation and worldwide.

We affirm our loyalty to Jesus, our Savior, whose teachings, life, death, and resurrection hold the keys to a joyous, meaningful, and hopeful life.

May our observance of Holy Week transform our hearts and relationships within our families, our community, and our nation. Amen.

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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.

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Fr. Rodel “Odey” Balagtas is the pastor of Incarnation Church in Glendale, California.


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