Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, Year A: Encountering the Profound and Holy

Giotto di Bondone - "Entry into Jerusalem"

This Sunday we begin Holy Week, the days during which we journey with Jesus on his Way of the Cross and anticipate his Resurrection on Easter. These days are indeed profound and holy. There are many vantage points from which to engage in Jesus’ Passion. In the characters of Matthew’s Gospel (Matthew 27:11–54), we find reflections of ourselves and the many ways in which we sometimes respond to Jesus. Sometimes we are like Judas, who betrays Jesus and comes to regret it. We are sometimes like Peter, who denies him, or like the disciples, who fell asleep during Jesus’ darkest hour but then act rashly and violently at his arrest. Sometimes we are like Simon, who is pressed into service to help Jesus carry his cross. Sometimes we are like the leaders who fear Jesus or like Pontius Pilate, who washed his hands of the whole affair.

The events of Jesus’ Passion, Death, and Resurrection are called the Paschal Mystery. No amount of study will exhaust or explain the depth of love that Jesus showed in offering this sacrifice for us. After we hear and reflect on the stories we have received about these events, we are left with one final task—to meditate on these events and on the forgiveness that Jesus’ obedience won for us.

  • When have you experienced something in your life that you would consider “profound” and “holy”?
  • How are we called to respond to moments that are profound and holy?

This Sunday, of course, is Palm Sunday. With that in mind, here are a few palm activities you may want to try:

Finally, here is an excellent article from Lisa Brown about the Challenges of Teaching Holy Week to Children. Find more Holy Week resources from Loyola Press here.

About Joe Paprocki 2157 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

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