"This is my body, which will be given for you."

On Palm Sunday this year we hear two sections of Luke's Gospel -- the first at the blessing of the palms and the second at the reading of St. Luke's passion narrative. With the royal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem (19:28-21:38), a new section of the Gospel begins -- the ministry of Jesus in Jerusalem before his death and resurrection.

Sunday Readings' Discussion Questions
Palm Sunday, Mar. 24, 2013 (PalmSundayC)

From the
Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University
Sunday Readings
Podcast of the Readings 
Video of Reflections on Readings
Lecturas y Comentarios 
New American Bible
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
Isaiah 50:4-7

1. In Isaiah we read, “I have not rebelled, have not turned away. I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard.” Is Jesus the subject of this reading? Can you think of others who have followed his example? What do you think enabled them to do it?

2. What would have happened if Jesus had given up? Does this reading make you feel oneness with the suffering world? Is there any action you could take to remedy someone’s suffering?

Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 22: 8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24

1. Were you part of the crowd of evildoers who closed in on Christ, that our psalmist speaks about? Tell of what part you play even today in mocking Christ.

2. The psalm asks, 'My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?' Do you believe that our Lord was truly abandoned by the Father?

Second Reading
Philippians 2:6-11

1. This reading is about Christ’s love. “Agape” means love that is selfless. It implies conversion, vulnerability, search for justice, and suffering. Does this ever describe your love? Is your love sometimes mixed with self-concern?

2. “The will of God is the divinization of every creature; and it was to bring about this divinization that the One who was in God and who was God emptied himself in order to participate in our human condition and transform it from within.” —Javier Melloni, S. J. Discuss.

Luke 22:14 – 23:56 or 23:1-49

1. According to the Gospel of Luke, marginalized and neglected people accompanied Jesus on the way to death. This included the women, Simon, and the good thief. What does this tell you about Jesus? What does it tell you about Luke? Would you have been part of the group accompanying Jesus?

2. Jesus said, “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.” Was he excusing people who were killing him? If not, then what? Do you ever ask God to forgive people who hurt you? Can you forgive them?

Sunday Bible Study Group
Please share your thoughts on these Sunday Readings. And please do use these questions for your own Bible study sessions with family and friends.

1 comment:

  1. Barry Lamont11:02 AM

    Psalm 22: 8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24

    “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

    David writes this psalm almost as though
    it were planned to be part of the Passion
    of Christ. The psalm also becomes the prayer
    of Christ at the time of his crucifixion
    and speaks of the suffering that our Savior
    experiences on our behalf.

    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 becomes 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.

    He holds us to a higher standard;
    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 –
    “He relied on the Lord – let him deliver him;
    let him rescue him, if he loves him.”

    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 lifted up.

    We are reminded by St. Paul in our 2nd reading
    that Christ takes the form of a slave, obedient even
    to death for our sake. Isaiah in our 1st reading speaks
    about the Messiah long before his birth and predicts
    that he will be beaten and his beard will be plucked.
    But the servant does not rebel (as Isaiah tells us).
    He knows that he will not be put to shame.
    The Lord is not far off, even when Jesus lies hanging
    on the cross.

    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.
    God reverses this righteous man’s condition –
    “But you, O Lord, be not far from me; O my help,
    hasten to aid me.”

    Hope returns, the righteous man is delivered, and he
    celebrates his deliverance – “I will proclaim your name
    to my brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will
    praise you: You who fear the Lord, praise him.”

    Because Jesus humbled himself and accepted death
    on the cross, “God greatly exalted him and bestowed
    on him the name that is above every name.”