Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion
March 25, 2018
Holy Week begins today. For me it’s always a time filled with rich memories and dramatic stories. Hello, I’m Father Greg Friedman with the Sunday Soundbite for Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion.
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?