Procession with Palms: Lk 19:28-40
First reading: Is 50:4-7
Second reading: Phil 2:6-11
Gospel: Lk 22:14—23:56
UNDERSTAND | By Father Greg Friedman, OFM
“Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” These words of Jesus from Luke’s account of Christ’s passion and death reveal the compassion of the Suffering Servant.
Each of the evangelists has a distinctive portrait of Jesus as he walks the way to Calvary. Luke remains consistent to the characteristics he’s highlighted all through his Gospel. He especially depicts Jesus’ concern for those on the margins of society—shown as the Lord heals in the Garden, comforts the weeping women, forgives his executioners, and welcomes the repentant thief.
Many of us I’m sure, have known people near death who show more concern about the feelings of those around them than for themselves. We marvel at the self-sacrifice such heroic love involves. Here in this Sunday’s account of the Passion is the model for all love—the sacrificial love of Jesus, which continues to be available for each of us.
Luke painted this portrait specifically for a Christian community in the latter half of the first century, which faced internal doubts and external persecution. It seems clear that he’s urging them—and us, the Church at the beginning of the Third Millennium—to cling fast to the image of the Suffering Messiah, whose example of love ought to guide our personal and communal life as Christians and as the Church.
DISCUSS | By Father Dan Kroger, OFM
In the Gospel, Peter said he would never deny knowing Jesus. But then he does just that. He denies Jesus. How do you think Peter felt after that? If you were in that same situation, what would you do?
Notice that Pilate tells the chief priests and the crowd and that he finds Jesus innocent. So does King Herod. Why is this so important in Luke’s telling of the story of Jesus?
As he was crucified Jesus prays: “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” What does this show about Jesus?
ACT | By Susan Hines-Brigger
Find a bread recipe and make a loaf—or multiple loaves—to share with friends or family members. Attach a note to the wrapping containing the chapter and verse for today's Gospel.
Gather your family and act out the passion story that we hear in this week's Gospel.