"Hosanna to the Son of David"

It is a special liturgy, this Sunday, known as “Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion.” If you were tempted to think of it as just another Mass but with a few additions, prepare to drop that assumption. Passion Sunday is a very deep vision of the heart and soul of Christianity.

Sunday Readings' Discussion Questions

Fifth Sunday of Lent, Apr. 13, 2011 (Palm)
From the Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University

Sunday Mass Readings  
Podcast of the Readings 
Video of Reflections on Readings
Lecturas y Comentarios 
Prayer of the Hours
BQ: What Sacraments were instituted by Jesus on Holy Thursday?"

Questions on Sunday's Readings for use by discussion groups,
prayer groups, or for individual prayer.

First Reading
Book of Isaiah, Chapter 50, Verses 4-7

1. If you speak out in God’s behalf against injustice, according to this reading what can you expect your life to be like? Who, other than Jesus might the speaker be in this reading? Explain.

2. “Morning after morning he opens my ear that I may hear.” What do you think you hear? Do you stand up for justice even if it involves some discomfort for you? Will you allow God to use you in some small way to remedy someone’s suffering? Explain. Is the presence of God with you when you speak for God?

Responsorial Psalms
Psalm 22: 8-9, 17-20, 23-24

1.  This Sunday's Psalm response are the words spoken by Christ as he was dying on the cross for us, "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?" Do you sometimes feel abandoned by the Lord? Is it He who abandons us, or it the other way around?

2.  In what way does this Psalm remind you of the crucifixion? Do you see a way out of the darkness of these words, and do you believe that the suffering described can be a source of strength in times of distress, knowing that there is a victory ahead?

Second Reading
Letter of St. Paul to the Philippians, Chapter 2, Verses 6-11

1. Why would God be humble and empty? What good are those qualities? What is the relationship between them and Agape, love that is selfless and free from self-concern and preoccupation?

2. Is your life described in question 1 above or is it characterized sometimes by selfishness? Which kind of life includes conversion, vulnerability and search for justice? Which includes suffering? Which redeems the world? Is there any middle ground between Agape and selfishness?

According to Matthew
Chapter 26, Verses 14-75; Chapter 27, Verses 1-66

1. Who stayed and who didn’t stay with Jesus through his passion? Which group would you have been with? How do you react to fear? What do you think helped the people who stayed with Jesus overcome fear?

2. Jesus felt abandoned by the one he loved most. Even though he couldn’t know it, do you think the Father and the Spirit were there with Jesus on the cross? What does his choosing to experience all of humanity’s worst suffering tell us? What does it say to you?

Online Sunday Bible Study Group
Please share your reflections on the above Sunday Readings. May we be blessed by God's words as reflected in your thoughts and experience-sharing.

1 comment:

  1. Barry Lamont10:03 AM

    People are the same today
    as they were back then,
    when Jesus was being led to the cross.
    We scoff at him; we mock him;
    we wag our heads; and hurl insults at him.

    Because he became sin;
    he took our sins upon himself
    and become contemptible in our eyes.
    He reminds us that we are a sinful people;
    he convicts us; he catches us in the lie;
    he embarrasses us; he exposes us;
    he accuses us of being hypocrites.

    The truth hurts!
    We who are mired in the pit
    take a perverse delight
    in seeing our Lord suffer for our sake.
    He holds us to a higher standard,
    and does not give in to the temptations of sin.
    He remains above sin;
    he speaks directly to God;
    he claims to be God's Son;
    and we reject him for this; and mock him.

    We do not move to assist him;
    let God rescue him –
    as the psalmist says,
    “You relied on the Lord – let him deliver you;
    if he loves you, let him rescue you.” (Verse 9).
    These are the same words used by those
    who conspired against Jesus
    when he was dying on the cross.
    They did not realize that the suffering and death
    of an innocent servant
    would restore life for sinful man.
    The words they spoke
    were to be fulfilled,
    not by Jesus coming down from the cross,
    but by sinful humanity like us
    being delivered, forgiven, and rescued.

    The psalm describes the Passion of Christ,
    and we know that what seemed like
    a moment of weakness for Christ
    became a source of strength
    for the rest of us.
    As our psalmist says (Verse 20),
    “You Lord do not stay far off;
    my strength come quickly to help me.”