Palm Sunday of The Lord’s Passion (Year A)

Theme: THE PASSION OF THE LORD IS VICTORIOUS!

  • Matthew 21:1-11; Isaiah 50:4-7;
  • Psalm 21:8-9. 17-20. 23-24. R/ v. 2;
  • Philippians 2:6-11
  • Matthew 26:14-27:66 (Shorter Form, Matthew 27:11-54)

Today we celebrate “Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion”; Liturgical Year A! We celebrate Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, because the Passion of the Lord is victorious and the palm branch is a symbol of victory!

The first gospel that we read at the blessing of the palm branches tells us that the Passion of the Lord is victorious! The first gospel tells us that Jesus entered Jerusalem. Jesus entered Jerusalem to suffer, to die and to rise from the dead in order to give the Holy Spirit for the salvation of the whole world! The Passion of the Lord is victorious not only for the Lord, but for all of us sinners as well! That is why the gospel tells us that the crowds welcomed Jesus with palm branches! Palm branches are a symbol of victory!

The second gospel today that we have just read also tells us that the Passion of the Lord is victorious! The second gospel tells us that Barabbas the notorious prisoner was set free, because Jesus the innocent one was condemned to death in his place! The gospel also tells us that after the death of Jesus the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, that is, the holy of holies which was accessible only to the high priest and only once a year is now accessible to all everyday! The gospel also tells us that the dead rose to life and that the pagan centurion and his fellow-guards were converted! Indeed the Passion of the Lord is victorious and salvific!

 

The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading also tells us that the Passion of the Lord is victorious! The first reading is the third of four suffering-servant songs of Isaiah. It tells us of the vicarious suffering of the suffering-servant of the Lord, that is, the suffering-servant suffers on behalf of sinners for the salvation of sinners! Thus we read in the first reading:

    “I offered my back to those who struck me, my cheeks to those who tore at my beard; I did not cover my face against insult and spittle. The Lord comes to my help, so that I am untouched by the insults. So, too, I set my face like flint; I know I shall not be shamed.” (Is 50:6-7; SM)

 

The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. The responsorial psalm also tells us that the Passion of the Lord is victorious! The responsorial psalm begins with a cry of despair, but it ends with a prayer of hope! Thus the responsorial psalm begins with the response:

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Ps 21:2; SM)

But it ends with a “thanksgiving for rescue”! (NJB) Thus the last stanza of the responsorial psalm:

“I will tell of your name to my brethren and praise you where they are assembled. You who fear the Lord give him praise; all sons of Jacob, give him glory. Revere him, Israel’s sons.” (Ps 21: 23-24; SM)

 

Finally, the second reading also tells us that the Passion of the Lord is victorious! The second reading tells us that Christ became humbler still, by accepting death on the cross, but God raised him up and gave him a name above every name! Thus we read in the second reading as quoted in the Gospel Acclamation today:

“Christ was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross. But God raised him high and gave him the name which is above all names.” (Ph 2:8-9; SM)

We put our palm branches with the crucifix, because the Passion of the Lord is victorious! It is resurrection, life, glory and salvation!

    

Today with the celebration of “Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion”, we begin Holy Week! Holy Week will climax in the Easter Triduum of three days, that is, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday! But Good Friday begins with Holy Thursday Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper and Easter Sunday begins with the Easter Vigil! The Easter Triduum which celebrates the death (Good Friday), burial (Holy Saturday), and resurrection (Easter Sunday) of the Lord is one celebration!

That is why there will be no dismissal after the Holy Thursday Mass and there will be no dismissal after the Good Friday Service! The dismissal will only be given after the Easter Vigil Mass! That is why it is important that we participate in the whole Easter Triduum of three days in order to die and rise with Jesus Christ to the new life of Easter! A blessed Holy Week to all of you and a blessed Easter Triduum to all of you! Amen!

20th September 2015 – 25TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Theme: WE ARE TO BE THE LAST OF ALL AND THE SERVANT OF ALL AND WE ARE TO SERVE THE LEAST OF ALL AND THE LAST OF ALL

  • Wisdom 2:12. 17-20;
  • Psalm 53 (54): 3-6. 8. R/ v. 6;
  • James 3:16-4:3
  • Mark 9:30-37

Today is the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Year B. The gospel today tells us that we are to be the last of all and the servant of all, and we are to serve the least of all and the last of all!

The gospel today tells us that Jesus predicted his Passion for a second time, that is, he was to be delivered into the hands of men and they will put him to death, but he will rise again on the third day! But the disciples still did not understand, though Jesus predicted his passion for a second time!

In fact, the disciples were arguing amongst themselves as to who was the greatest! Jesus then called them together and taught them that in order to be first one must be the last of all and the servant of all!

Jesus then took a child and put him in front of them and taught them that whoever welcomes a child welcomes him and whoever welcomes him welcomes the one who sent him! A child is a symbol of the lowly, the poor, the weak, the helpless, the vulnerable, etc. (CSB; NJBC; IBC), that is, the least and the last!

Thus the gospel today tells us that we are to be the last of all and the servant of all, and we are to serve the least of all and the last of all!

Who are the last of all and the servant of all in our parish? Do we serve the least of all and the last of all? Who are the least of all and the last of all in our parish; the poor, the sinners, the sick, the aged, the children, the migrants, etc.?

As we celebrate the 40th Anniversary (Ruby Anniversary) of our Catholic Women’s Apostolate (CWA) today, whose motto is our Bishop Julius’ motto: “to serve with God’s love”; let us ask ourselves if our Catholic Women’s Apostolate are the last of all and the servant of all and serve the least of all and the last of all, that is, the poor, the aged, the sick, the migrants, the children, the youths, the sinners, etc.!

The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading is based on the fourth of four Suffering Servant Songs of Isaiah. (Is 52:13-53:12; HCSB) The first generations of Christians and a number of the Fathers of the Church see in this first reading the prophecy of the Passion of Jesus Christ! (CSB; NJB)

Thus we read in the first reading:

“If the virtuous man is God’s son, God will take his part and rescue him from the clutches of his enemies. Let us test him with cruelty and with torture, and thus explore this gentleness of his and put his endurance to the proof. Let us condemn him to a shameful death since he will be looked after – we have his word for it.” (Ws 2: 18-20; SM)

The first reading is reflected in the gospel of Mathew 27:41-44 (CSB), especially in Matthew 27:43 where the crucified Jesus was mocked by the chief priests, the scribes and the elders (NJB):

“He has put his trust in God; now let God rescue him if he wants him. For he did say, ‘I am God’s son.’”

The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. The responsorial psalm tells us that God will deliver him from death! (Fuller) Thus the response of the responsible psalm:

“The Lord upholds my life.” (Ps 53 (54): 6; SM)

The responsorial psalm has three stanzas. The first and second stanzas are a prayer for deliverance. The third stanza tells us that God will deliver him from death and he will thank God for his deliverance! (CSB; HCSB) Thus we read in the third stanza from which the response is taken:

“But I have God for my help. The Lord upholds my life. I will sacrifice to you with willing heart and praise your name for it is good.” (Ps 53 (54): 6 &8; SM)

The second reading does not follow the theme of the Sunday, but again the second reading has something important to tell us. The first paragraph of the second reading tells us about true wisdom and false wisdom, that is, heavenly wisdom and earthly wisdom.

Earthly wisdom brings about jealousy, selfishness/ambition, disunity and evil works; but heavenly wisdom brings about peace, mercy, good works and justice/righteousness!

The first paragraph of the second reading belongs to chapter 3 of the letter of St James, but the second paragraph belongs to chapter 4.

Today we thank God our Father for his Son Jesus Christ who suffered, died and rose from the dead for our salvation; and we ask God to give us the Holy Spirit so that we may become the last of all and the servant of all and so that we will serve the least of all and the last of all! We also ask God to give us the true wisdom from heaven so that we may bring about peace, mercy, good works and righteousness/justice in our Church and in our world! A happy and blessed Sunday to all of you! Amen!