PASSION (PALM) SUNDAY
Death of the Good shepherd
Holy Week, which begins today, is the greatest week in the Church’s year. It is
made holy by the death of Christ, the Good Shepherd who died for his flock. He
died because of sin. Since we are all sinners, each of us can truthfully say that
we had a hand in his death.l
Introduction to the Readings
Gospel for procession (Matthew 21: 1-11)
Jesus enters Jerusalem for the last time. He comes, not as an all-conquering
warrior, nut as a gentle, humble bearer of Good News.
First Reading (Isaiah 50: 4-7)
The prophet suffers in carrying out his mission. But he is sustained by the firm
belief that God will not abandon him.
Second Reading (Philippians 2: 6-11)
Because Jesus took on himself our human condition, and accepted death on
cross, the Father has raised him up and made him the Lord of heaven and earth.
Gospel (Matthew 26: 14-27:66)
St Matthew shows the passion as fulfilling the prophecies of Scripture, and
portrays Jesus, because of his foreknowledge and free decision, as being in
complete control of situation.
PRAYER OF THE FAITHFUL
The passion of Christ is still going on. Conscious of our own weakness, and of
the roots of evil in our own hearts, let us pray that we may be on the side of
Christ. R. Lord, hear our prayer.
The apostles slept while Jesus was in agony: that Christians may be aware of the
sufferings of those around them, and respond to them with generosity. We pray
to the Lord.
For all judges and government leaders: that they may not play the role of Pilate,
but work to ensure that in all cases justice is done. We pray to the Lord.
For all those who suffer unjustly. We pray to the Lord.
That when, through human weakness or whatever, we deny Christ, we may learn
from the example of Peter, who was humble enough to acknowledge his sin and
repent of it. We pray to the Lord.
For local needs.
Whenever we think of Jesus, what leaps to my mind
is Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane,
drinking the cup of loneliness,
his soul torn with sorrow at his impending death.
And he looks about him for his disciples,
seeking a little warmth and human closeness,
and there they are sleeping.
All these good people
with whom he had shared his thoughts.
Now in this moment of unbearable agony,
in which he is so openly and wholly human,
he turns to these companions,
hoping to find comfort and support
in any word or gesture on their part,
but they are not with him.
They are sleeping.
This dreadful moment, I know not how,
was impressed on my memory in my early youth,
and if I think of Jesus,
always and unfailingly,
the memory of this moment arises in my mind.