April 21, 2019
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Pope Francis opens Palm Sunday mass calling for humility over triumphalism

Vatican City, Apr 14 (efe-epa).- Pope Francis marked the beginning of Holy Week with a Palm Sunday mass at St. Peter's Square urging the thousands of faithful gathered there to forgo triumphalism and instead pursue humility.

The Palm Sunday ceremony, a moveable Christian feast that commemorates Jesus Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem and precedes his crucifixion on Good Friday, began with a traditional procession from St. Peter's Square to the obelisk where Francis, dressed in the traditional red and white ornaments marking the occasion, blessed the palms and olive branches brought by the worshipers.

The Argentine pope gave a first reading at the obelisk, before continuing the procession towards the central altar to give mass.

He said: "By his entrance into Jerusalem, he shows us the way. For in that event, the evil one, the prince of this world had a card up his sleeve: the card of triumphalism. Yet, the Lord responded by holding fast to his own way, the way of humility."

"Jesus shows us how to face moments of difficulty and the most insidious of temptations by preserving in our hearts a peace that is neither detachment nor superhuman impassivity, but confident abandonment to the Father and to his saving will, which bestows life and mercy," he continued.

The pontiff said triumphalism tried to obtain its objective by using shortcuts and "false compromises."

"Jesus destroyed triumphalism by his Passion," he said.

"One subtle form of triumphalism is spiritual worldliness, which represents the greatest danger, the most treacherous temptation threatening the Church," he said.

Francis said that "true triumph" involved making room for God.

"There is no negotiating with the cross: one either embraces it or rejects it," he said.

He said the Virgin and the saints had to suffer in their path to faith.

Palm Sunday coincides with diocesan World Youth Day.

Addressing the young faithful gathered for the mass at the Vatican, the pope said they should not be ashamed to express their love for Jesus.

The Palm Sunday mass comes as the Christian world prepares to mark Holy Week.

Over the course of the week, Christians will mark Holy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and then Easter Sunday, which celebrates Jesus' resurrection.EFE-EPA

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