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Palm Sunday Processional
Luke 19:28-40

1. “Jesus proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem.” Was Jesus going to Jerusalem for the procession honoring him as king, or for his crucifixion?

2. Why did the Pharisees want the crowd to be quiet? Why did Jesus say to them “if they keep silent, the stones will cry out!”?

First Reading
Isaiah 50:4-7

1. We see Jesus as the subject of this reading. Could it apply to others too? Are the Ukrainians speaking on God’s behalf, and have they “set their faces like flint” when confronted by injustice? What injustice do you feel strongly about? Is there anything can you do to help make it right? 

2. If Jesus hadn’t challenged the status quo, would he have gone to the cross? “Morning after morning he opens my ear that I may hear.” What am I hearing now? The cries of Ukraine? Of starving children? Of the planet in crisis? Of the racial injustice?

Second Reading

Philippians 2:6-11

1. “Agape” love (pronounced ah-gah-pay) is selfless and free from self-concern and self-preoccupation. It includes conversion, vulnerability, search for justice, and suffering. Explain Jesus’ love for us in terms of agape. What would the world be like if everyone had some of this kind of love?

2. Discuss Javier Melloni, SJ’s statement: “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.”
Can you agree with such a statement?

Luke 22:14-23:56 or 23:1-49

1. Luke says that the marginalized or the neglected went with Jesus on the way to his death. These included the women, and Simon, and the good thief. What does this tell you about Jesus and those who went with him? What does it tell you about Luke?

2. Pope Francis asks what happened to those people who in admiration for Jesus, cried “Hosanna” but shortly afterward shouted “Crucify him.” What were they missing?

Let us ask for the grace to be amazed. A Christian life without amazement becomes drab and dreary. How can we talk about the joy of meeting Jesus, unless we are daily astonished and amazed by his love, which brings us forgiveness and the possibility of a new beginning? When faith no longer experiences amazement, it grows dull: it becomes blind to the wonders of grace; it can no longer taste the Bread of life and hear the Word; it can no longer perceive the beauty of our brothers and sisters and the gift of creation. It has no other course than to take refuge in legalisms, in clericalisms and in all these things that Jesus condemns in chapter 23 of the Gospel of Matthew.

Pope Francis Asks for the Grace to Be Amazed
Palm Sunday, March 28, 2021

Anne Osdieck

Art by Martin (Steve) Erspamer, OSB
from Religious Clip Art for the Liturgical Year (A, B, and C). This art may be reproduced only by parishes who purchase the collection in book or CD-ROM form. For more information go