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PALM SUNDAY 2019: Holy Week an opportunity to open your hearts to God, says Archbishop Costelloe


Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe administered the blessing of Palms outside the St Marys Cathedral before Mass on 14 April 2019. Photo: Ron Tan.

By Amanda Murthy

“Make room in your lives (this Holy Week) for God’s love so He can change you.”

“If we let ourselves, we will be plunged into the story of God's extraordinary love for us.”

Those were the words of Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB who spoke to the congregation of St Marys Cathedral during his homily at the Palm Sunday Mass on Sunday 14 April.


Members of the Neocatechumenal Way sing the Creed during a Eucharist for Palm Sunday, 14 April, at Mirrabooka Parish. Photo: Luke Wyatt.

Archbishop Costelloe’s message was inspired by the words of Pope Francis who in his homily a few years back, uttered those very words to the congregation attending a Mass at the Vatican.

Reflecting on scripture, Archbishop Costelloe said the Church’s liturgy in the coming weeks would reveal that people who ‘in fact did change because they opened themselves to God’s love, which they encountered in Jesus.’

“We will hear for example about Martha whose love for the Lord so overwhelmed her, that she anointed his feet with precious oil and dried his feet with her hair,” Archbishop Costelloe stated.

“We will also hear about John, the beloved disciple of Jesus, who did stay faithful and stood with Mary at the foot of the cross and we will hear about Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, both Jewish leaders, who found the courage to defend him and to bury his broken body after his death.”

Archbishop Costelloe said that these people including Mary the mother of Jesus, made room for God’s love in their lives, and this transformed them into people of extraordinary courage, compassion and fidelity.


Archbishop Costelloe celebrated the Palm Sunday Mass at St Marys Cathedral on 14 April 2019. Photo: Ron Tan.

In contrast, Archbishop Costelloe said that we would also hear of people in the Bible who did not make room for Jesus in their heart.

“We will learn of Peter, who denied that he even knew Jesus but who, in the end, was forgiven because his betrayal was the result of fear rather because he had blocked the Lord from his life,” Archbishop Costelloe cited.

“We will also hear of those who, in the face of the resurrection of Jesus, still tried to destroy Him by making up the story that his disciples had stolen his dead body,” Archbishop Costelloe cited.


St Luke Parish gathered outside the Church for their Palm Sunday at the 8am mass on 14 April 2019. Photo: Keith Perreau.

The Sacraments offered by the Church during the Holy Week lend great opportunities for the faithful to make room in their lives for Jesus, Archbishop Costelloe explained.

“Through the Sacrament of Penance or Reconciliation and the beautiful and inspiring liturgies of the Chrism Mass on Tuesday night, the commemoration of the Last Supper on Holy Thursday evening, the Stations of the Cross and the afternoon service on Good Friday, the Easter Vigil on Saturday night and the Mass on Easter Sunday,” Archbishop Costelloe said.

“All we have to do is let it happen.

“Jesus is standing at the door of our hearts, knocking - If we open the door and invite him in he will come, sit down with us, share his life with us and welcome us as his disciples and friends,” Archbishop Costelloe concluded.