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Blessed Virgin Mary

Weekly Reflection

Palm Sunday 'B'

March 24, 2024

Is 50:4-7
Phil 2:6-11
Ps 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24
Mk 14:1--15:47

The Church celebrates today Palm Sunday. It is on Palm Sunday that we enter Holy Week, and welcome Jesus into our lives, asking him to allow us a share in His suffering, death and resurrection. Today’s liturgy combines contrasting moments of glory and suffering – the royal welcome given to Jesus by His followers and the unjust drama of His trial culminating in His crucifixion. Holy Week challenges us to remember and relive the events which brought about our redemption and salvation, to appreciate gratefully the price Jesus paid for our salvation, and to return God’s love for us, expressed through the suffering and death of Jesus, by loving others. The meditation on these Paschal mysteries should enable us to do our own dying to sin and rising with Jesus, which will result in our healing, reconciliation, and redemption. Proper participation in the Holy Week liturgy will also deepen our relationship with God, increase our faith and strengthen our lives as disciples of Jesus.

Today's First Reading, found in the prophecy of Isaiah, is called the third Servant Song. Jesus saw aspects of His own life and mission foreshadowed in the Servant Songs.

The Second Reading, from Paul’s letter to the Philippians, is an ancient Christian hymn representing a very early Christian understanding of who Jesus is, and of how His mission saves us from sin and death.

In today’s Gospel, we listen to the Passion of Christ according to Saint Mark. We are challenged to examine our own lives in the light of some of the characters in the story like Peter who denied Jesus, Judas who betrayed Jesus, Pilate who acted against his conscience and condemned Jesus to death on the cross, Herod who ridiculed Jesus and the leaders of the people who preserved their positions by getting rid of Jesus.

Are we willing to follow Jesus, not just to Church but in our daily life? Are we willing to entrust ourselves to Him even when the future is frightening or confusing, believing God has a plan? Are we willing to serve Him until that day when His plan for us on earth is fulfilled? These are the questions of Palm Sunday... Let us take a fresh look at this familiar event. We might be surprised at what we see. It could change us forever.

Let us rejoice and... weep: Palm Sunday has two sides of the same coin because we have to rejoice and sing as we receive Jesus into our lives as our Lord and Savior and we have to weep and mourn as His death confronts us with our sin. Yes, we were there in the crowd on both days, shouting “Hosanna!” and later “Crucify!” Because of what Jesus has done for us and our faith in him, one day we will be in that great crowd gathered around the throne of God, and there everyone will shout words of praise, heavenly hosannas, that will ring through all eternity, "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!" Rev (5:13).