Palm Sunday, the commemoration of when Jesus entered into Jerusalem when palm branches were placed in his pass, before his arrest on Holy Thursday and his crucifixion on Good Friday. This marks the beginning of Holy Week, the final week of lent.
However, this year, the day comes at a time when Christians are not able to go out, be it in Rwanda and worldwide due to the new Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic.
Churches have resorted to online services where, the only christians with internet connection can follow from home.
A few of them go on television and it was the case today, of the Kigali Archidiocese.
Antoine Kambanda Archbishop of the Kigali Catholic church stood at the pulpit lonely to deliver a message that was broadcast live at National Television.
“In this crisis, we are supposed to show unconditional love that aims at saving lives. Several doctors have sacrificed their lives to save COVID-19 patients, unfortunately, some have even died of the contagious virus. Let us pray that powerful nations work together to find the vaccin and the cure of this pendemic instead of competing to prove each other’s capacity,” Kambanda said.
He also added; “This crisis has proved that we are all equal. Not even strong weapon can defeat the virus. Countries should unit, use their strong economies that were given by God to find a solution for the virus.”
For Kambanda, “What we all need now is living in peace.”
In Rwanda only, COVID-19 has affected 104 since March 14, but four patients were released today reducing the number of Active cases to 100 people today as of Sunday.
The country us under a 15-day lockdown that will run through April 19 at 23:59.
As people take on the lockdown, Kambanda said: “You should not take advantage of this global crisis to get money in crooked ways, such money is evil. You cannot even use that money to solve your problems, just like Judah; he left in regret after betraying Jesus by handing him to his killers,”
“Judah was tempted by the 30 silver coins to betray his master, but after Jesus was killed, Judah could not eat the money because it was cursed. Let us defeat all the temptations during the COVID-19 crisis, share with vulnerable people in the community,” Kambanda added.
At the See of Rome, Palm Sunday message was not far away from COVID-19. The mass was held in a deserted church. Pope Francis told young people not to shy away to put lives on the line for others during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Dear young people, feel called yourselves to put on the lives on the line. Do not be afraid to devote your life to God and to others; it pays! For life is a gift we receive only when we give ourselves away, and our deepest joy comes from saying yes to love, without ifs and buts,” Pope Francis wrote on Twitter.
“In these painful times, people think of doing many good things, but others think of how they can take advantage of the situation to profit personally from it. Let us pray together that the Lord Mighty grant an upright, taransparent consciousness to all of us.”
The Palm Sunday mass inaugurates the beginning of Easter week, the most important week of the Christians liturgical calendar which ushers them to Easter. The later will fall on Sunday, April 12.