The Palm Sunday mass is the only papal ceremony that begins at the ancient obelisk in St. Peter's Square. There, the Pope blessed the palms and olive branches. He then participated in the choreographic procession towards the altar.
It is the first great mass of Easter and it remembers Jesus' arrival to Jerusalem when he was greeted with olive branches. The pope asked Catholics to revive these events in a personal way.
"Just as he entered Jerusalem, so he desires to enter our cities and our lives.”
The Pope recalled the physical and moral humiliation that Jesus suffered in those hours before he was crucified. He regretted that even today, nations of Christian origin throughout Europe are degrading many refugees.
"Jesus also experiences in his own flesh indifference, since no one wishes to take responsibility for his fate. And I think of the many people, so many outcasts, so many asylum seekers, so many refugees, all of those for whose fate no one wishes to take responsibility.”
Because there were so many pilgrims at St. Peter's when he finished mass, the Pope rode in the popemobile and toured the square to greet them close up.