The Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were to take place in two days’ time. So the chief priests and the scribes were seeking a way to arrest him by treachery and put him to death.
UNDERSTAND | By Father Greg Friedman, OFM
Holy Week begins today. For me, it’s always a time filled with rich memories and dramatic stories.
During this week, the dramatic story of Jesus’ death and resurrection is linked with the human stories of those preparing for Baptism in our parishes.
At today’s liturgy we’ll listen to the proclamation of the Passion and Death of Jesus from the Gospel of Mark. Mark gives us a portrait of one who is truly a “Suffering Servant,” first described in the Hebrew Scriptures by Isaiah—whose Servant poems we hear throughout the week, beginning today. In Mark’s Gospel, the Lord spends himself in service to others. The cross he embraces is a powerful sign of his self-giving.
But the story is not only the story of Jesus, as Scripture scholar Eugene LaVerdiere reminds us. It’s also a story about the testing of Jesus’ disciples. Earlier in the Gospel, Jesus asked two of them if they could drink from the cup he would drink, and endure the baptism he would receive. In the Passion account, Judas, Peter and finally the rest of the Twelve, fail the test and abandon Jesus.
The Lent just past has invited us to renew our baptismal commitment. The liturgy a week from today will celebrate our rebirth to new life through the Lord’s passion, death, and resurrection. Let us resolve to enter the story with him today. How will we meet the test?
DISCUSS | By Father Dan Kroger, OFM
We hear a reading from Mark (11:1-10) during the procession of palms. What did Jesus do when he and his disciples got near to Jerusalem?
The disciples found a colt and untied it, just as Jesus told them to do. Then what did they do?
When Jesus road the colt into Jerusalem, what else happened?
What did the people keep crying out?
The first reading (Isaiah 50:4-7) is often used to refer to Jesus and his suffering. Can you see why?
Whom does the text from Isaiah say is his help?
Find some ideas for ways to display and preserve the palms that you will receive at Mass this weekend. There are a lot of ideas available on the web simply by searching for "palm crafts."
Make an effort to have a family dinner in honor of this week's reading of the Last Supper. Perhaps you might even read this week's Gospel before dinner.