Palm Sunday of our Lord’s Passion
BEFORE YOU BEGIN:
Pray and ask God to speak to you through His Holy Spirit.
“THE PARACLETE, THE HOLY SPIRIT WHOM THE FATHER WILL SEND IN MY NAME, WILL INSTRUCT YOU IN EVERYTHING, AND REMIND YOU OF ALL THAT I TOLD YOU.” (JOHN 14:26)
Application – 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time
The first reading tells us that God has imprinted his law on our hearts. The second reading reveals that suffering can lead to obedience, and obedience leads to holiness. The Gospel shows us that following in Jesus’ footsteps is anything but glamorous and safe.
This week make a deliberate effort to give God the glory of your efforts rather than seeking attention and praise for yourself. This will help others to give glory to God for their efforts instead of seeking attention and praise for themselves.
1. What was a helpful or a new thought from the readings or from the homily you heard on Sunday?
2. From what you learned, what Personal? application did you choose to apply to your life this week?
SECOND DAY READ ISAIAH 50:4-7 FIRST READING
(“The Lord is my help, therefore I am not disgraced.”)
1. From where did the well-trained tongue come? To whom has he given it, and for what reason has he been given a well- trained tongue? Isaiah 50:4
2. When and what does he open, that we may hear? Isaiah 50:4
3. What has he not done? Isaiah 50:5
4. What happens to those who rebel? 1 Samuel 12:15
5. What did the servant do to those who beat him and plucked his beard? Isaiah 50:6
6. From what did he not shield his face? Isaiah 50:6, Matthew 26:67 and 27:30
7. Who is the servant’s help, and how has he set his face? Isaiah 50:7
8. What does the servant know? Isaiah 50:7
Personal? – When do you hear the Lord speaking to you? What is he saying to you? In what way, by using a well-trained tongue, do you rouse the weary in your own household? Pray and ask the Lord to reveal to you how you can train your tongue.
THIRD DAY READ PHILIPPIANS 2:6-11 SECOND READING
(“Jesus Christ is Lord.”)
1. What must your attitude be? Philippians 2:5
2. Of whom was he in the form? Philippians 2:6
3. Who is Christ? John 1:1, 14
4. What was something at which he did not grasp? Philippians 2:6
5. Rather, of what did he become empty and why? Philippians 2:7 2 Corinthians 8:9
6. Of what did he take the form, and in whose likeness was he born, and of what was he known to be? Philippians 2:7
7. What two things did he do in verse 8 of Philippians 2?
8. For what reason did he do the above two things? Hebrews 2:14,17
9. Because he humbled himself and accepted death on the cross, what two things did God do for him? Philippians 2:9
10. What must every knee do, in the heavens, on the earth, and under the earth, at the name of Jesus, and what must every tongue proclaim? Philippians 2:10-11
11. What does this tell us beyond a doubt? Acts 2:36
12. For whose glory is this proclaimed (Philippians 2:11), and what will happen to us if we confess with our lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart that God raised him from the dead? Romans 10:9
13. Who gives us the power to say “Jesus is Lord”? 1 Corinthians 12:3
Personal? – In what way is your attitude that of Christ? In what way have you humbled yourself? What cross have you obediently accepted? Read Mark 8:34 and meditate on this.
FOURTH DAY READ MARK 14:1-15:47 GOSPEL
(“Truly this man was the Son of God!”)
1. What feast was to be observed in two days’ time? Who began to look for a way to arrest Jesus, and what was pointed out to them? Mark 14:1-2
2. What did the woman carrying an alabaster jar of expensive perfume do to Jesus? What was the reaction of those present and what did Jesus say about what she did and about her? Mark 14:3-9
3. What did Judas Iscariot do? What was the reaction of the chief priest, what did they offer him, and for what was Judas looking? Mark 14:10-11
4. What did the disciples ask Jesus about the Passover supper? What were his instructions to them, and when they went off and found things just as he told them, what did they do? Mark 14:12-16
Personal? – What do you ask Jesus in prayer regarding preparations for major events such as Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, birthdays, anniversaries, etc.?
5. As Jesus and the twelve disciples reclined at the table, what did he say to them, what was their reaction, and what did he say about the man who was to betray him? Mark 14:17-21
6. During the meal, what did Jesus say and do with the bread and wine? What did he say he would never do again, and after they sang songs of praise, where did they go? Mark 14:22-26
7. What did Jesus tell the disciples would happen to their faith? What did he quote from scripture, where did he tell them he would go after he was raised up? Mark 14:27-28
8. What did Peter say to Jesus, what did Jesus say to him, and what did the others say? Mark 14:29-31
9. With what was Jesus filled in the garden of Gethsemani? What did he tell his disciples to do, what did Jesus say to “Abba” (God the Father)? What kept happening to the disciples, and what did he finally say was about to happen? Mark 14:32-42
10. How had Jesus’ betrayer arranged his arrest? What was the reaction of the disciples after he was arrested, what did Jesus say the arrest at that time fulfilled, and how did one young man that was following Jesus run off? Mark 14:43-52
Personal? – When you become afraid and fear seizes you, how do you respond? Look back at verses 34-39 and see how Jesus dealt with fear and distress.
11. When they led Jesus off to the high priest, where was Peter? What were the chief priest and whole Sanhedrin trying to do? As the high priest interrogated him, what did Jesus say, and what did the high priest do and say? Mark 14:53-63
12. What did they all concur in the verdict against Jesus? What did they do to Jesus? And while Peter was down in the courtyard, what happened to him? Mark 14:64-72
13. What did Pilate do to Jesus, and what was Jesus’ response, who was Barabbas, and what did the chief priest incite the crowd to do? Mark 15:1-15
Personal – In what way do you see that jealousy and envy cause unjust results? In what way have you witnessed someone unjustly condemned through gossip and lying? Ask the Lord to show you how to respond to this.
14. What did the soldiers do to Jesus? Mark 15:16-20
15. Who did they press into service to carry his cross, and where did they bring Jesus? What did they do to him, and what did the people passing by and the chief priest say and do? Mark 15:21-32
16. What happened at noon and at three o’clock that afternoon?
What happened to the veil of the sanctuary, and what did the centurion who saw Jesus breathe his last breath say? Mark 15:33-39
17. Who were the women looking on from a distance? At evening, what did Joseph of Arimathea courageously do? What was Pilate’s response to Joseph? What did Joseph do with the body of Jesus and who watched where he laid him? Mark 15:40-47
Personal? – Can you identify with the jeering crowd and the centurion at the cross and how do you relate to them? What has happened in your life that has revealed that Jesus truly is the Son of God?
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 22:8-9, 17-20, 23-24
(“They have pierced my hands and my feet.”)
Read and meditate on Psalm 22:8-9, 17-20, 23-24.
What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?
How can you apply this to your life?
SIXTH DAY READ ALL OF THE COMMENTARY
The source of strength and courage for all suffering, trial and tribulations is the suffering and death of our divine Lord Jesus Christ. We need to hold fast to him when the world closes in with its assault, rejection and abandonment. He not only traveled this same road before the saints of old, but he travels it today constantly waiting to be with us in our suffering. His suffering and death opened the road to heaven for all of us, even though many refuse the gift. He gave up everything for us, and he gave us love, trust, hope, respect, and eternal life. In return, he got spat upon, ridiculed, beaten, jeered, scourged and mocked. He finally was executed by being nailed to a cross on Calvary between two lawbreakers.
This is a day of reflection, and we are about to enter Holy Week. Let us not forget the actions and the words of this suffering servant of Isaiah. We need to reflect how fast the crowd changed from adoring him to jeering him. He took up a cross for us, and we need to remember we, too, are called to carry a cross for someone. Sometimes we think our cross is too heavy, or that it is unfair to bear such a heavy cross. How heavy is your cross compared to Christ’s? How is your Calvary compared to Jesus’ Calvary?
Paul tells us that our attitude should be like that of Jesus Christ (Phil. 2:5). He describes putting on the attitude of a servant rather than that of a king. Jesus, though being God, did not demand his rights and privileges of royalty. He deliberately set them all aside and took on the role of a servant. There lies the incredible formula of a successful leader. Jesus led by serving all of us. He showed us that putting others first and being humble are the only ways a person can become a real leader. The sheep followed the shepherd because they trusted him. People will follow a leader if they know that he has their welfare at heart.
Jesus showed us everything of God’s character in human terms. He was obedient even unto death, and the type of death he chose for him was extremely painful. Jesus is the perfect role model for us in today’s living. How many times do you demand your rights when you are being treated less than fairly? The name of Jesus brings to every Christian person the name of a person who willingly died so that all people could be free, and he died for us knowing very well that we were sinners (Romans 5:8). Jesus voluntarily laid aside his divine rights, privileges, and position out of love for his Father. We too are called to lay aside our rights and privileges for our oppressed brothers and sisters in the holy name of Jesus.
Today’s Gospel takes us through the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church celebrates Palm Sunday at the beginning of Passover week. There are many contrasts in today’s reading. We see Jesus being betrayed by Judas, who was one of his original apostles.
The week begins with Jesus leaving a home in Bethany where he was guest of honor and going to Jerusalem. In two weeks he will have gone through hero-worship to rejection, jeering, incarceration, torture and finally execution on a cross. The people of Bethany were so impressed with Jesus that they lined the roads when he made his entry into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey. The people shouted praise to him and his holy name. He was rebuked by Judas for letting a woman waste expensive perfume on him, but Jesus told Judas and some of the other apostles that she did no wrong. In fact, her worship of Jesus included sacrificing something of great value.
The disciples really did not understand Jesus’ role. They thought he was going to bring the Israelites a powerful new kingdom and overthrow Rome. Jesus showed in his praise of the woman that his kingdom was not physical or political, but spiritual. Judas then turned to the Pharisees and betrayed Christ for money and favors from some religious leaders. Jesus saw this and continued on to his appointed time to glorify his Father. Judas did not see Jesus with spiritual vision, he only saw the chance to be powerful. Today many of us look at Judas with shock and outrage. Yet we deny Christ when we do not obey his commands. We are the same people who sing songs of praise to him on Sundays, and we sin in darkness during the week. We need to ask ourselves a very violent question. Do our beliefs match our actions? Jesus’ death and resurrection freed us from being another Judas. Judas had the same chance but he chose to refuse. Let us not turn our backs on Christ, rather let us turn to him in repentance. Judas chose the world of greed, deceit, lying, and manipulation; and he died in despair and violence. We do not have to choose that path because Christ has freed us from sin by his death and resurrection. We can choose the path of love, honor, and respectability because Christ’s Holy Spirit lives within each and every one of us (1 John 4:4).
The first reading tells us that the source of strength for all of our suffering, trials, and tribulation is the strength of our Lord Jesus Christ. The second reading tells us that our attitude should be humble not proud. A humble attitude is the attitude of Christ. The Gospel reveals that when we fail to obey Jesus’ commandment we betray him.
This week, stop and observe what you are saying and doing. Make a determined effort to stop the deceit, lying, and manipulation that may be going on in your life. It only brought Judas loneliness and death. The choice is yours to make.