Palm Sunday of the Passion of our Lord, Year B, 24th March 2024

The journey begins. Go with him. 

Today marks the end of Lent and the beginning of Holy Week. The readings focus on Jesus’s sacrifice for us and express confidence in God’s faithfulness.

St Paul (Second Reading) highlights the humility of Jesus, who emptied himself of the glory that was his as Son of God. He gives himself away totally in love, coming among us as the suffering servant described by Isaiah in the First Reading. Jesus puts others before himself rather than seeking power or honour.

Riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, Jesus shows us his way is one of love, compassion, mercy, humility, and service. We hear the crowds welcome him excitedly, shouting ‘Hosanna’, wanting to make Jesus into the king who will save them from Rome. (Procession Gospel)

In the main Gospel, we see the same crowds turn against Jesus, calling for his arrest. He is mocked, beaten, condemned, crucified, and placed in a tomb. Jesus is betrayed by one of his own disciples, denied by another, and abandoned by most.

The Psalm describes this humiliation. On the cross Jesus prays the psalm’s response: ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’

We are invited to walk with Jesus through Holy Week. Jesus, in turn, wants to be with us in our experience of this journey. Lord, help us to walk with you, to be strengthened by your example and teaching.