Palm Sunday

From the Pastor’s Desk

April 2, 2023

“So you could not keep watch with me for one hour? Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test.
The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”

~Matthew 26:40b-41

Brothers and Sisters,

“Like the crowds who acclaimed Jesus in Jerusalem, let us go forth in peace.” This invitation to our Palm Sunday liturgy calls us to enter Holy Week, praising the Lord as a parish. When all join to proclaim, “Hosanna in the highest!” The Hebrew translation of hosanna reminds us that we are asking God to “save us please!” What a powerful way to voice our need for Jesus, who accepts the throne of David, fulfilling God’s promises. But instead of relying on physical strength or power, Jesus is a new kind of sovereign, a king who conquers through humility and obedience.

When we think of our recent Family Dinner Night that helped to celebrate Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week and how the many volunteers, parishioners, and friends filled our Parish Center, we have a fantastic vehicle to consider what it means to belong to or witness a crowd. (Thank you to the many volunteers and staff who made this night a reality!). Regardless of the Gospel author, Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John, the “crowd” plays a prominent role in the Passion narrative. And in that retelling, the crowd’s changing groupthink puts humanity and all its flaws on display perfectly; after all, many of the same among the multitude who cheered Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, with shouts of “Hosanna to the Son of David!” are among the same voices that later cry out to “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Let’s ask ourselves how we choose to lend our voices. Can our friends, family, or neighbors count on us for encouragement to entirely give praise and glory to God? Or do we allow cultural trends to take over, blinding us to the Lord and His will?

In our final exploration of Archbishop Lori’s letter Light Brightly Visible 2.0, we have a chance to consider the importance of Mission Support in parish life. From a Clergy perspective, compared to celebrating the liturgy, forming a welcoming community, witnessing people connect with God, helping individuals on their discipleship pathway, and being sent by the Lord in service, we priests can sometimes find the more managerial tasks of running a parish draining. It’s no surprise because related finances, development, facilities, human resources, and communication is essential but hard work! Still, any parish can only be healthy with good operational support. I’m so grateful to our parish staff, who work hard to make OLPH a faith community that runs smoothly and has opportunities to grow in faith regardless of age. I’m also profoundly grateful to the parishioners who have invested in OLPH with their time and expertise to serve on our pastoral council, finance committee, and school board, as corporators, and in other support roles. I also am grateful to the many families who help OLPH remain a healthy parish with your consistent offertory donations. Your engagement, commitment, and sacrifice have enabled our parish community to thrive and meet our mission to bring God’s love to Ellicott City, Maryland. We want our neighbors and friends to experience God’s life-changing love in a welcoming and genuine atmosphere —Thank you!

In closing, I encourage everyone to take advantage of these upcoming holiest of days, the Tridium, to deepen their faith. I look forward to worshipping with you at 7 pm on April 6 for Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper and Adoration, 3 pm or 7 pm on April 7 for the Good Friday Celebration of the Lord’s Passion. Our Easter Vigil begins at 8:15 pm on Holy Saturday, April 8, and our Easter Sunday Masses will be celebrated at 7:30 am, 9 am (an Easter Egg Hunt sponsored by our Knights of Columbus to follow), and 11 am on April 9. Note that there is neither a 4:30 pm Mass on Holy Saturday, April 8, nor a 5 pm Mass on Easter Sunday. Moreover, we will pray the Morning Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday at 8:15 am. Our Holy Week and Easter schedule can be found online at as well.

In the Lord,

Rev. Michael S. Triplett

Other Considerations in and around our community:

  • INDIVIDUAL UNBOUND MINISTRY PRAYER – Many of us are fighting invisible battles with anxieties, negative thoughts, sins, unhealthy relationships, destructive habits, resentments, and bitter wounds that never seem to heal. You can experience God’s merciful love, healing, and freedom! Unbound Ministry Prayer releases the power of Jesus into wounded lives. On Saturday, April 15th, trained teams will be available to provide individual prayer using the Unbound Model of prayer, based on five scriptural keys that help you unlock those areas of your life where you want greater freedom, healing & spiritual growth. To schedule an appointment or for more information, please contact Dan or Peggy Gahagan by Monday, April 10th, at
  • HOLY INNOCENTS MINISTRY– Miscarriage is a difficult loss that often leaves couples to navigate their grief alone. Holy Innocents Ministry is available to all families experiencing this loss, whether presently or at some time in the past. In addition to burials and the memorialization of children lost before birth, spiritual support and resources are available through the Archdiocese of Baltimore Office of Life, Justice, and Peace in cooperation with the Office of Cemeteries under the care of Father Patrick Carrion. Visit for more information.
  • THE PROCESS OF BEAUTY – HOW ART CAN HELP HEAL Apr 20, 7:30-9:00 PM. Join us for an exciting new program to explore Christian Art’s history. This month’s session: The Process of Beauty- How Art Can Heal. This 6-part series of presentations will explore the connection between art and liturgy and why that should matter to your life. The series will run monthly on Thursday evenings: Apr 20 and May 18; each session lasts 7:30-9:00 pm. Registration is required. Each session costs $35 per person (if registered by the Early-Bird deadline.) Find more information and links to register on the website Our Lady of Bethesda Retreat Center, A Place to Encounter Christ! 7007 Bradley Blvd., Bethesda, MD 20817.