The Pope presided over Palm Sunday Mass which began with a procession through St. Peter's Square. From his pope-mobile, Benedict XVI blessed the crowd and the palm leaves that waved through the air.
Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week. It also marks Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem, up until his eventual Crucifixion.
So, in his homily, the Pope invited people to reflect on the role God plays in their lives.
Benedict XVI -“Who is Jesus of Nazareth for us? What idea do we have of the Messiah, what idea do we have of God? It is a crucial question, one we cannot avoid, not least because during this very week we are called to follow our King who chooses the Cross as his throne.”
The Pope went on to explain that the life of Jesus and his message is for all humanity. Benedict XVI then invited pilgrims to share that same universal outlook.
Benedict XVI -“Here we find the first great message that today’s feast brings us: the invitation to adopt a proper outlook upon all humanity, on the peoples who make up the world, on its different cultures and civilizations.”
With Easter just a week away, the Pope called people to make a personal reflection, both on Holy Week and one's beliefs.
Benedict XVI -“So we must ask ourselves: what are our true expectations? What are our deepest desires, with which we have come here today to celebrate Palm Sunday and to begin our celebration of Holy Week?”
Benedict XVI celebrated Palm Sunday with roughly 60,000 people in St. Peter's Square, just days after coming back from his apostolic trip to Mexico and Cuba.