Palm Sunday

March 24, 2024

March 24, 2024


March 24, 2024

Palm Sunday

Sheila Leocádia

Sheila Leocádia



For me, Palm Sunday is a bittersweet Sunday.

As a child, I always looked forward to singing ‘Hosana, Tu reinaras, na Cruz tu nos salvaras’ (Hosana, you will reign, on the cross you will save us). As children and even as adults we wave our palm branches as the priests make their procession into the church – it’s a beautiful moment that is transformed into moments of pain, betrayal, and sorrow as we contemplate the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Today marks the start of Holy Week. During this Lenten Season, we have fasted and prayed. Additionally, we have had a lot to reflect on – not only in our personal lives but also in the world we all live in today.

This year, over 60 countries worldwide are and will be having elections. It is a decisive moment for many nations around the world.

As Catholics, we are faced with a similar situation. Since October 2021 the Catholic Church has embarked on the Synodal journey – a time to dialogue, reflect, and above all to listen and pray.

It’s almost like a Lenten journey, as we are encouraged to pray and to listen to Holy Spirit – pray for wisdom, for discernment.

As Fr. Timothy Radcliff said during the Synod retreat in September/October 2023 –  “Today our God is already bringing into existence a Church which is no longer primarily Western: a Church which is Eastern Catholic, and Asian and African and Latin American. It is a Church in which already women are assuming responsibility and are renewing our theology and spirituality. What is God doing? Do we accept God’s gracious newness?”

As we celebrate Palm Sunday and enter the Holy Week and Easter Triduum – let us call on the Holy Spirit to continue to guide us. That we may become a Church that is welcoming and above all – a Church that listens more.

Today’s readings reflect on how Jesus was loved by many, but at the same time, he was betrayed by the very same people who pledged their love and faithfulness to him – just as we see today with the reaction of some toward the Holy Father. The same crowd that welcomed Jesus singing ‘Hosana’ then shouted out loud ‘crucify’ him.

As we enter Holy Week, let us remember the ‘Merciful Father’ and may we learn to forgive – starting with us as individuals, as we cannot forgive others if we have not learned to forgive ourselves – and for me, this can be achieved through prayer and honest conversations with God.

So many have been wounded and suffered in silence. The Synodal Church invites us to journey together and listen more. This new way of being a Church encourages us to be a welcoming Church, a Church that trusts in God.

In a world ruled by materialism, we often find ourselves being so consumed with our ordinary lives, and with meeting deadlines that we forget our Spiritual well-being.

May this Holy Week be a season of deep reflection on the Church we want, a season of more conversations in the Spirit, a season of prayer and listening, and a season of open dialogue with one another.

May we draw closer to God and put him at the center of our lives. Lastly, we are an Easter people: may we strive to be more and more like Jesus, and like the Synod on Synodality – may the Holy Spirit be the protagonist in all we do.

First Reading

Is 50:4-7


Ps 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24

Second Reading

Phil 2:6-11


At the procession of Palms - Mk 11:1-10 or Jn 12:12-16; at the Mass - Mk 14:1—15:47
Read texts at

Sheila Leocádia Pires

Sheila Leocádia Pires

Sheila Leocádia Pires is a Mozambican media practitioner  with over 19 years of experience in Catholic journalism. She is the first woman to be appointed Communications Officer of the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference (SACBC) which is composed of Botswana, Eswatini (former Swaziland), and South Africa. She has been a Vatican News collaborator since 2018. Ms. Pires was a member of the Communications team of the African Synod on Synodality Continental phase. She is also a member of the Continental Organising Committee of The Pan-African Episcopal Committee for Social Communications (CEPACS) Golden Jubilee. Ms Pires is a Synod delegate and Communication Secrecretary  Synodal Assembly.



The second of three volumes from the Catholic Women Preach project of FutureChurch offers homilies for each Sunday and holy days of the liturgical year by Catholic women from around the world.  The first volume for Cycle A received awards for best book on Liturgy from both the Association of Catholic Publishers and the Catholic Media Association.

“Catholic Women Preach is one of the more inspiring collection of homilies available today. Based on the deep spirituality and insights of the various women authors, the homilies are solidly based on the scriptures and offer refreshing and engaging insights for homilists and listeners. The feminine perspective has long been absent in the preached word, and its inclusion in this work offers a long overdue and pastorally necessary resource for the liturgical life of the Church.” - Catholic Media Association

Purchase at Orbis Books

Advertise with Catholic Women Preach: email Russ at