Palm Sunday


Isaiah 50:4-7
Philippians 2:6-11
Mark 15:1-39


The readings for Palm Sunday focus on the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for me and you.

The reading for the procession of the palms tells of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Jesus enters the city on a huge wave of optimism, joy and hope. The people line the streets; wave palms, put their cloaks on the ground and shout out his name. The crowd welcomes Jesus in the same manner that Roman soldiers and armies were welcomed after their success in battle.

Where am I as Jesus passes by on the donkey?

Am I one of the crowd shouting out his name?

How do I welcome Jesus into my life?

The first reading from Isaiah foretells Jesus’ suffering. This reading signals a marked change of mood to the joyous palm-strewn entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. Like Jesus, the servant is singled out by God for a mission that provokes hostility and involves suffering but advances the cause of salvation.

How open am I to what the Lord offers to me to be his disciple?

The psalm sings “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”, which is the Psalm Jesus prayed from the cross.

When and where have I felt abandoned in my life?

The second reading from Philippians speaks of the how Jesus Christ is our Lord and Saviour. In this reading Christ’s humility and obedience lead to His ultimate glorification by God. This exaltation serves as a testament to Jesus’ lordship and the acknowledgment of his divine nature by all of creation.

Jesus emptied himself to assume the condition of a slave and humble himself to accept death on a cross.

Where in my life have I experienced humility?

Jesus’ passion in Mark highlights the obedience of the servant, who, despite facing suffering and humiliation, remains steadfast and trusts in God’s plan. This obedience, even unto death, highlights the depth of Jesus’ commitment to fulfilling His Father’s will.

As we celebrate Palm Sunday and begin our journey through Holy Week, let us pray and decide what kind of followers of Christ we are going to be.

Joanne McGrath is a parishioner of St Brigid’s Marrickville and a Passionist Companion.

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