Please listen to my audio “blog” of the readings, prayers and reflections for the Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord. Year A. - Sunday, April 9, 2017 by clicking this link here: https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/faith-hope-and-love-palm-sunday-year-a
THE LITURGY OF THE WORD
First Reading: Isaiah 50:4-7
Psalm: Ps 21:8-9. 17-20. 23-24. Psalm: My God, my God, why have you abandoned me.
Second Reading: Philippians 2:6-11
Gospel: Matthew 26:14 - 27:66
The passion of Our Lord is so powerful, that it would be really good for us to take some extended prayer and meditation time …….particularly sometime during this Holy Week…. to individually re-read and reflect upon this Passion narrative of Matthew’s Gospel and the Passion of the Lord according to John,
Just a couple of thoughts about these profound readings today…….
The crowds were quite RIGHT to greet this humble man, arriving in Jerusalem on a donkey… He truly is a King… and in fact he is THE king of all creation, and of all time… They were right to wave palms and to cry out: “Hosanna in the highest….” He was indeed the Saviour, arriving in Jerusalem, to usher in God’s Kingdom…. He was the means by which we would be saved… our sins forgiven… our debts cancelled….
And then, at his trial…. This is his ultimate lesson in discipleship: Jesus surrenders himself unreservedly to the human condition he has undertaken… freely. He does not complain about the inconsistency of human nature. He does not speak out against the outrageous weakness of the people; who praise a person one minute and then scream for his blood the next. He accepts everything in silent eloquence.
These two thousand years later, we too are drawn into the drama.
In a sense, we are part of the crowds who welcome Our Lord with palms and cloaks, at his triumphal entry..
It is us who proclaim him Messiah.. and cry out “Hosanna !! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord !!!.”.
We too join in declaring him King….
But, we also are sobered by the fact that only a few short days later.. it was the same crowd ….. (ordinary people like you and me).. who got whipped up into another frenzy cried out.. “crucify him.. crucify him.. away with him….. anyone who tolerates a man like this is no friend of the Roman emperor…(who incidentally just happens to be a pagan ruler whom the people despised!) .. take him away.!!!!!
Christ died for us….. He well and truly suffered and died for you and for me.. and for all…..
Jesus lets his ‘personhood’, his preaching and his acts of kindness and love speak FOR him. Before Pilate, Jesus is silent, his life has already spoken for itself.
let us pause for a few moments in silence…… and reflect on how Jesus’ life speaks for itself……….. and ask ourselves in what ways does my life and actions speak for itself about the values and message of Jesus……..
The first reading says.. ‘the Lord gave me a disciple’s tongue…” and for what purpose have we been given the tongue of a disciple ….?? “So that we may have an answer to those who are wearied…” One of the greatest dangers that ultimately face us, is the danger of losing hope… of stopping our trust…. Of giving-in to the cynicism and negativity of the world around us…. A world which is all-too ready to welcome the next ‘secular hero’ and later seems to take much delight joining in the ever-more-frequent choruses of outrage and reveling in every scandal, every stumble and fall from grace that these secular heroes later experience. The cycle of lauding then pillorying, (instead of compassion and concern for those who have fallen)….. “perhaps our prayer this Easter week, might be for consistency; for deep integrity, for Christ-like compassion; the grace to resist the seduction of destructive, condemnatory public opinion…. The strength not to “go with the mob’… not to be a ‘fairweather friend’……or enter into a herd-mentality… praying for the strength to be a voice of truth and charity when the loud, false and unmerciful voices drown everything else out.”##
The role of the disciple, rather, is to keep trusting, keep hoping, keep building with God’s help… never giving up , no matter how absolutely dire the circumstances get… no matter how bad it looks…. Because God is faithful. God is true…..
Saint Paul prays that “every knee bend at the name of the Lord.. but sadly.. every knee does NOT bend to Jesus.. and even our own knees, SADLY, DO NOT always bend to Christ, but rather to our own whims and desires; rather than those of God’s Kingdom…
Jesus was utterly and completely faithful to the vision of the Kingdom.. He trusted and hoped completely…He gave absolutely everything for the sake of the Kingdom and for us…. And he was utterly “servant”… (he held nothing back)
May this inspire us to become _”ever-more faithful” disciples… filled with hope and positivity… filled with an eagerness for service and self-sacrifice… and “ever-prepared” to bend our knees, our minds and our wills to God’s ways.. not our ways.. not the way of the world…. But to be even more committed to God’s Kingdom… which is filled with graciousness, mercy, compassion, justice, humility.. and above all else.. LOVE
Fr Paul W. Kelly
## Ross Jones SJ: “The Same Old Crowd” – P 34, www.madonnamagazine.com.au Autumn 2017 edition. see particularly: http://www.madonnamagazine.com.au/old-crowd-ross-jones-sj/
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Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord. Year A.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
Save us, Saviour of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection you have set us free.
Preparation of the Gifts
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life.
Blessed be God for ever.
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you: fruit of the vine and work of human hands, it will become our spiritual drink.
Blessed be God for ever.
Pray, brothers and sisters, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God,
the almighty Father.
May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his holy Church.
Preface of the Passion p.24
Eucharistic Prayer II p.56
Go forth, the Mass is ended.