Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion - B
March 29, 2015
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Processional Gospel: Mark 11:1-10
First Reading:Isaiah 50:4-7
Second Reading: Phil 2:6-11Gospel Reading: Mark 14:1—15:47
- The events of this Sunday’s Processional Gospel reading (Mark 11:1-10) take place the Sunday before Holy Week. The following Thursday, Jesus will institute the Holy Eucharist and the priesthood. On Friday he will be unjustly tried, tortured, and die upon the Cross for the sins of mankind. In exactly a week from today, he will rise gloriously from the grave, defeating Satan and death.
- Jesus now enters Jerusalem in triumph. Whereas he had previously entered the city quietly, he now does so publicly since his mission is almost completed.
- Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem recalls that of another king—King Solomon (see 1 Kings 1:32-49). Both are called “Son of David;” both ride a donkey (or mule); both were celebrated by a great crowd; both entries caused a commotion in the city.
- The crowd greets Jesus as a victorious king, sure that he will liberate Roman-occupied Israel in the manner foretold by the prophets (Zechariah 14:3-21). Their shouts of praise will turn into cries of condemnation, however, when Jesus turns out to be a different kind of king than the one they expect (Zechariah 9:9-10).
- How is the 1st reading from Isaiah a prophecy relating to Jesus? In what ways are we to imitate our Lord as he is described here? In Psalm 22?
- At the beginning of the 2nd reading, we see that Jesus has had equality of God from all eternity. At the end of the reading, we again read about his exaltation and glory. What do we read about him in the middle of the reading? What significance does that have?
- In the Gospel, to what town has Jesus come? Why (Matthew 23:27; Mark 10:32-33; Luke 13:33)
- Jesus comes on a donkey rather than a stallion. What does this portray (Zechariah 9:9-10)? What kind of king were the people expecting? How do their wishes compare with the reality of Jesus? How might that discrepancy account for the same crowd jeering and shouting later, “Crucify him!” (Mark 15:12-15)?
- How would you have reacted if you had been there to greet Jesus riding into town? Do you jump on political or religious bandwagons today? Why or why not?
- What difference does it make to you that Jesus is a gentle king, and not like the one described in Matthew 20:25? Does Jesus’ humility “work” for you? Why or why not?
- What does Good Friday and Easter mean to you? What will you do this week to prepare yourself spiritually for these most holy of Christian observances?
Catechism of the Catholic Church: §§ 449, 557-560, 571-572, 606-614, 713, 2605-2606
In all He did from the Incarnation to the Cross, the end Jesus Christ had in mind was the gift of the Eucharist, his personal and corporal union with each Christian through Communion. He saw in It the means of communicating to us all the treasures of His Passion, all the virtues of His Sacred Humanity, and all the merits of His Life. -St. Peter Julian Eymard
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