Encountering God During Holy Week

Readings for Sunday, March 20 — Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

Luke 19:28-40; Isaiah 50:4-7; Psalm 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24; Philippians 2:6-11; Luke 22:14-23:56 or Luke 23:1-49

Suggested Reflection Questions:

  • Luke’s Gospel discusses the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. Just a few short days before his arrest, trial, and death — all riddled with pain and humiliation — Jesus is welcomed as a king. When told by the Pharisees to silence the joyful cries of his disciples, Jesus tells them that if they remain silent, the very stones will cry out. Palm Sunday is both a day of joyful proclamation of Jesus as the Messiah and a day of sorrow at the thought of what he has come to Jerusalem to accomplish — death on the cross for the salvation of all. This week, do not be silent. If others are silent, be like the stones on the road to Jerusalem; cry out! Who needs you to cry out with joy this week? Who is in the midst of sorrow and injustice and needs your voice?

  • On Palm Sunday we pray with the psalmist the words that Jesus cries out from the cross: “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Perhaps Jesus prays these words to remind us that even when we feel forsaken by God, God is present. Have you ever felt abandoned by God? What does Jesus’ Passion reveal to us about God’s presence during our suffering?

  • Today we will hear a proclamation of the entire Passion Narrative from Luke’s Gospel. Before attending Mass, make an effort to read it in its entirety. If you can, print the text from the USCCB website (link above) and use a pen to underline words, phrases, and sentences that stand out to you. Go back and read what you underlined. What spoke to you this year? Did you read something you never took notice of before? Why did it stick out to you? Did something that happened in your life this year impact the way you read it?