A Palm Sunday Celebration

Today Christians around the world celebrate Palm or Passion Sunday. On this day, we recall Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It marks the start of Holy Week, and a time of great reflection.

The traditions observed on Palm Sunday are hundreds of years old. That is not to say faith is only a few hundred years old, but that it takes us a while to understand and develop deep traditions. That’s alright, for God is patient.

On Palm Sunday, people gather, wave palms or other native branches and often enter the church in a procession. Songs of praise are sung. It is a reminder that Lent, although be it a time of repentance, is also a time of great hope and the promise of renewal and rebirth.

So often I have heard people say that the readings of The Passion of the Christ are filled with distain for Jewish people. I realize there are people within the Christian community that might agree with that statement. But then these same people tend to view anyone different from themselves as inferior and frankly aren’t very Christ-like. I’ve never understood the anti-Semitic view of Christ’s Passion. His death, His suffering, is what made our salvation possible. If anything, we should be grateful that the people in His time did their part to fulfill God’s plan of redemption. For me, the Passion is more than just the story of death; it is the promise of resurrection and triumph over death. It is a story of love and forgiveness. There cannot be room for resentment in a heart filled with God’s eternal love. It’s that simple.

There are ways that we can make Holy Week come to life within us. First is to meditate on the Passion. This begins with the readings of Palm Sunday. Second is to be more still, more quiet. God often speaks in whispers. We need to listen in silence. Another way to bring Holy Week into our lives would be to daily make a small sacrifice or give of ourselves in the service to others. Each day read scripture, and let the words transform us into the people God intended. In this world filled with distractions, close the door, and do not let the trivial events or social pressures sway us. That is so often easier said than done, especially in this electronic existence that seems to tether us together in unhealthily ways. The more we open ourselves up, the more we have to give and the more we give, the more we are filled with a joy that is beyond ourselves.

All you peoples, clap your hands,
Shout to God with cries of gladness

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ
King of endless glory

Today is also National PB and J Day. I think we can do better . . .

Palm Sunday Pork Supper
Hearts of Palm Salad
Lemon-Rosemary Pork Tenderloin
Buttery Peas
Rosemary Lemon Roasted New Potatoes

Hearts of Palm Salad
4 slices Bacon, diced
2 Hearts of Romaine Lettuce
1 pint Grape Tomatoes
1/2 Red Onion
1 (14 oz) can Whole Hearts of Palm
Fresh Black Pepper to taste

Cut bacon strips into smaller pieces. Fry in a skillet over medium heat until nice and crisp. Remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon, place on paper towels to drain.

Rinse lettuce, tear into smaller pieces. Spin dry, place in a salad bowl. Cut tomatoes in half, scatter over the lettuce. Cut red onion in half. Reserve half for another purpose, peel remaining half. Cut rings from the widest part of the onion, set aside as a garnish. Slice remaining onion into slivers. Scatter over the lettuce.

Drain Hearts of Palm. Cut into bite-size pieces. Scatter over the salad. Add bacon, toss salad to blend. Place reserved onion rings on top, season generously with fresh black pepper.

Serve chilled with favorite vinaigrette dressing.

Lemon-Rosemary Pork Tenderloin
1 Yellow Onion
1 Lemon
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh Rosemary
1 teaspoon fresh Thyme
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
Kosher Salt to taste
Fresh Black Pepper to taste
2 (1 lb) Pork Tenderloins

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place a rack in a shallow roasting pan, set aside.

Peel and finely dice onion, set aside. Zest lemon, cut in half and juice. Set zest and juice aside. Strip rosemary needles from the sprigs, mince and set aside. Pluck thyme leaves from the sprigs, mince leaves and set aside. Peel and finely mince garlic, set aside.

In a small bowl, mix onions, rosemary, thyme, lemon zest and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle onion mixture with olive oil and lemon juice. Rub into the pork tenderloins, coating all sides with the oniony mix.

Place tenderloins on the rack in the roasting pan. Pour a little chicken stock into the bottom of the pan to help circulate a little moisture. Roast, uncovered, in the heated oven for about 25 minutes.

Remove from oven, cover with foil and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

Buttery Peas
12 oz Young Peas, thawed
2 tablespoons Butter
Salt to taste

Rinse peas under cold water to thaw. Place in a sauce pan. Add just a little water, enough to create a steam. Cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook over medium-low heat until peas are heated through.

Drain, place in a bowl. Stir in butter, season with salt. Peas can be served in their own bowl or on the platter alongside the sliced pork.

Rosemary Lemon Roasted New Potatoes
1-1/2 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 teaspoon fresh Rosemary
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
Kosher Salt to taste
Fresh Black Pepper to taste
1 Lemon, zested
Fresh Rosemary Sprigs for garnish

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside. (Note: same temperature as the pork. Begin roasting potatoes about 20 minutes before placing pork tenderloins in the oven)

Scrub potatoes, cut in half or quarters depending upon size. Place potatoes in a large bowl, set aside.

Strip rosemary needles from the sprig, mince and scatter over the potatoes. Add oil, mustard and garlic powder to the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat potatoes in flavorings.

Spread out on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Roast in the oven for about 45 minutes or until potatoes are golden brown on the outside, tender on the inside. Shake and flip potatoes twice during the roasting for even browning.

While the potatoes roast, zest the lemon, set aside. Cut rosemary sprigs into small sections for garnish, set aside.

Remove potatoes from the oven. Scatter zest over the potatoes. Toss, then transfer potatoes to a serving bowl or platter. Garnish with rosemary sprigs and serve hot.

May the Lord fill you with His endless love and bless you all the days of your life.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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