Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, which is the most important celebration of the year for Christians around the world. The people of Loja, where we live, are very religious. On Palm Sunday, “the faithful” form processions as they carry their palm branches to mass. During the mass the priest will pronounce a blessing on the palm branches. These palm branches will be saved and burned the following year, and the ashes will be placed on the forehead of each believer in the form of a cross. This takes place on Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of lent.
Living in Loja makes me think about the Apostle Paul’s experience in the city of Athens (Acts 17). Athens was a very religious city where people loved to talk about religion and philosophy. On the one hand, we are grateful that we can share our faith openly with the people of Loja, and that they are usually open to discussing issues of religion and faith. On the other hand, just like the Athenians, there is a prevailing attitude of religious pride that can lull people into a false sense of security. Pray with us that, during this Holy Week, many people here in Loja will allow Christ to make His triumphal entry into their hearts.