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Radio Allocution by the most eminent Cardinal Juan de la Caridad García Rodríguez, archbishop of Havana

RADIO ALLOCUTION BY THE EMINENT LORD CARDINAL JUAN DE LA CARIDAD GARCÍA RODRÍGUEZ, ARCHBISHOP OF HAVANA, ON THE OCCASION OF THE CELEBRATION OF “PALM SUNDAY”, BEGINNING OF HOLY WEEK

Thank you to everyone who makes this radio broadcast possible about the first day of Holy Week, Palm Sunday. The Gospel of Saint Matthew, chapter 21, verses 1 to 11, tells us what happened on the first Palm Day in history:

Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew: “When they arrived near Jerusalem, they entered Bethphage, next to the Mount of Olives. Then, Jesus sent two disciples telling them: Go to the town opposite and immediately you will find a donkey tied and her calf next to her. Untie it and bring it, if someone says something to you, you will tell them that the Lord needs them and he will immediately return them. Then it happened to fulfill what was announced by the Prophet: Say to the city of Zion: Look at your king, who is coming humblely, riding a donkey and a donkey, the son of a donkey. The disciples went and following Jesus’ instructions, they brought him the donkey and her calf. They threw their cloaks over them and the Lord got on. A large crowd carpeted the road with their cloaks. Others cut tree branches and covered the road with them. The crowd before and behind him shouted: Hosanna to the son of David, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, hosanna in the highest! When he entered Jerusalem, the entire population, moved, asked: Who is this? ‘And the crowd answered: ‘It is the prophet Jesus of Nazareth, of Galilee.’

As we have read the Word of God, I say the Word of the Lord and you: Glory to you, Lord Jesus.

Like the Israelites almost two thousand years ago, we too will bring to acclaim Jesus Christ saying: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”, in the face of this painful situation that the entire world is experiencing. Other years we have looked for the blessed guano in the Church, we have sung to the Lord moving the blessed guano, we have taken it to our homes and placed it in a very visible place to remember that, just as we praise Christ in the temple, so too We praise him in our homes with prayer, family harmony and helping neighbors.

Today, although we do not have the blessed guano, we want to sing, praise, give thanks and ask God. We will end God in the following way: We say to each other at home, “God loves you so much and I love you so much.”
When we all gather around the table we tell the good things that distinguish our family. Many of them left as a spiritual inheritance by our deceased.

In this Holy Week, which runs from today until next Sunday, we place on the windowsills and balconies of our homes, prints, images, and Catholic religious signs, as a manifestation of our faith and an announcement that we are in Holy Week.

Tonight on the Educational Channel, after the news, everyone from home together, we watch the film Jesus of Nazareth, we comment on it and each one says what impressed them the most.

Every night, before going to sleep, we pray the Lord’s Prayer and the Hail Mary. We will sleep in peace. The wife will dream that she sleeps next to a saint. The husband will dream that he sleeps next to an angel. Children will dream that they sleep protected by the Virgin of Charity.

Every night at 9 p.m. We cry out to Christ by applauding, praying and congratulating the doctors, nurses and health workers who care for the sick.
Now that we spend so much time together at home, it is good to think and reflect on how we can live more united. This comparison of the flight of palmiped birds can help us achieve greater family harmony, which is a way of praising God. When you see palmiped birds migrating towards a warmer place to spend the winter, notice that they fly in a V shape. You may be interested to know why they do it that way. They do this because by flapping their wings, each bird produces a movement in the air that helps the group behind it. Flying in a V, the flock of birds increases their flight power by 71 percent compared to a bird flying alone. Families that share a common direction and have a sense of community can achieve their goals more easily and quickly, because by helping each other, the achievements are greater.

Every time a bird leaves formation, it immediately feels the air resistance, realizes the difficulty of doing it alone, and quickly returns to formation to benefit from the others. Like family. If we unite and stay with those who are going in the same direction as us, the family effort will be less, it will be easier and more pleasant to achieve our goals.

When who is ahead. He gets tired, moves to one of the back places. I, bull of the house, take his place. Those of us at home get better results. If we support each other in the hard times, if we respect each other by sharing the most difficult problems and jobs.

Birds behind squawk to encourage those ahead to maintain speed. In our family, a word of encouragement in time helps, gives strength, motivates, and produces the best benefits.
Finally, when a bird becomes ill or is injured by a gunshot, two others leave the formation and follow it to support and protect it. If we stay by each other’s side, supporting and accompanying each other, we make the family spirit a reality.

Yes, despite the differences, we can form a human group to face all types of situations, if we understand the true value of family communion. If we are aware of the feeling of sharing, life will be simpler and the flight of the years more pleasant.

In these difficult times we look up. Psalm 34 tells us: “Lift your gaze to God and he will fill you with light.” They say that the captain of a sailing ship, already at sea, ordered a young cabin boy to climb onto the mainmast. Once up, the boy triumphantly migrated towards the deck. And he saw it so small and with the rocking of the boat he looked at the deep and dark sea and he began to be afraid. Suddenly, the captain realized that the boy could faint and fall onto the deck or into the sea, and he shouted: “Boy, look up!”

The young cabin boy instinctively looked up at the sky and found that sky he knew. The captain shouted again: “Go down little by little, but don’t stop looking up.” Learning to look upward, beyond what physical eyes can see, is an infallible insurance to overcome the insurmountable and give meaning to the meaninglessness of life. He who knows how to look up, overcomes everything. He who knows how to look at the sky, nothing disturbs him. Whoever knows how to look upward will maintain the illusion of life and the desired strength. Those who have their gaze set towards the heights will never lack reasons for hope and joy.

We pray with Saint Teresa: “Nothing disturbs you, nothing frightens you, everything passes, God does not change, patience achieves everything. He who has nothing lacks God, only God is enough.”

We pray the following prayer and you repeat: “Lord Jesus, our divine doctor, we ask you to protect us from coronavirus and all deadly diseases. Have mercy on all those who have died. Heal all those who are sick. Enlighten all scientists who are searching for a remedy. Strengthens and protects all healthcare assistants who are currently helping the sick. Grant wisdom to all civil servants who are trying to limit contagion. And give peace to all who are afraid and worried, especially the elderly and those at risk. May your precious blood be our defense and salvation. By your grace transform the evil of illness into moments of consolation, growth in faith, hope and a greater experience of love. May we fear the contagion of sin and evil more than any other disease. We abandon ourselves with complete confidence to your infinite mercy.”

Holy Mary of Charity, pray for us!

We take refuge under your protection, Holy Mother of God. Do not reject the supplications we address to you in our needs. Rather, always deliver us from all danger, oh glorious and blessed Virgin!

We put ourselves in the hands of God the Father who thought of us from eternity for a family mission. We put ourselves in the hands of God the Father who created us in his image and likeness in the womb. We put ourselves in the hands of God the Father, who accompanies us in joys and sorrows. We put ourselves in the hands of God the Father who forgives us.

We put ourselves in the hands of God the Father who awaits us in the House of Heaven. And we do it with the words and feelings of Jesus. We all raised our hands: “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, give us this day our daily bread, forgive us our trespasses, as well as our We forgive those who offend us. Do not lead us into temptation and deliver us from evil.”

And the blessing of Almighty God who created them to constitute a beautiful family. The blessing of Jesus Christ, the path by which no one has ever been lost, the blessing of the Holy Spirit who can achieve bigger and better dreams than you have, descend upon you and remain forever. Amen

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