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Discussion Questions
Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion A
April 13, 2014

Questions on Sunday’s readings for use by discussion
groups, prayer groups, or for individual prayer.

Processional Gospel
Matthew 21:1-11

1. Does Jesus enter the Holy City to receive power and to dominate? Did some of the people waving palms and shouting “Hosanna” expect a Messiah who would? Could some have recognized Jesus as someone who reawakened hopes, understood misery and healed their bodies and souls? Which group would you have been with?

2. “And when he entered Jerusalem the whole city was shaken and asked, ‘Who is this?’” Who was this group that was so shaken by all the excitement Jesus was causing? Why were they so shaken? Why did Jesus go to Jerusalem? Did he go on his own or did someone make him go?

First Reading
Isaiah 50:4-7

1. If you speak out in God’s behalf against injustice, what can you expect your life to be like, according to this reading? Who, other than Jesus might the speaker be in this reading? Explain. If you do proclaim Jesus can you be assured that he will go before you and guide you?

2. “Morning after morning he opens my ear that I may hear.” The person who spoke these words, what did they hear ? Are you reluctant to stand up for justice if it involves some discomfort for you? Will you allow God to use you in some small way to remedy someone’s suffering? Explain.

Second Reading

Philippians 2:6-11

1. Why would God be humble and empty? What good are those qualities? What is the relationship between them and Agape, love that is selfless and free from self-concern and preoccupation?

2. “The will of God is the divinization of every creature; and it was to bring about this divinization that the One who was in God and who was God, emptied himself in order to participate in our human condition and transform it from within” (Javier Melloni, S. J.) Discuss.

Matthew 26:14-27:66

1. Jesus endured the sense of abandonment by the one he loved most. What does it tell us that he chose to experience all of humanity’s worst suffering? Even though he couldn’t know it, do you think the Father and the Spirit were there with him on the cross?

2. Why does God love us so completely? Pope Francis told us at World Youth Day that God’s love for us is “a love so great that it enters into our sin and forgives it, enters into our suffering and gives us the strength to bear it.” And in Evangelii Gaudium, 39, he says “the Gospel invites us to respond to the God of love who saves us.” Do you do that?

Anne Osdieck

Copyright © 2014, Anne M. Osdieck.
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Art by Martin Erspamer, O.S.B.
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