March 26, 2024

MESSAGE – Palm/Passion Sunday – Year B – 24th March 2024

MESSAGE – Palm/Passion Sunday – Year B – 24th March 2024

MESSAGE 24th March – PALM/PASSION SUNDAY – 24th March – YEAR B

THEMES: The main theme that unites the Bible readings from Isaiah 50:4-9a, Philippians 2:5-11, and Mark 15:1-39 (40-47) for Palm and Passion Sunday of Holy Week is the portrayal of Jesus Christ as the suffering servant who obediently endures hardship and death for the sake of humanity’s redemption.

Why do Christians follow Jesus? Why do you follow Jesus? What is the significance of the very Faith foundations of our life that I revealed through God in the fleshly, life of Jesus.

In Isaiah 50:4-9a, the theme of righteous suffering is highlighted, reflecting the cost of being faithful to God’s calling and the vindication that follows. This passage is part of the “Servant Songs,” which are understood in Christian tradition as prophetic foreshadowing of Christ’s suffering and mission.


Philippians 2:5-11 emphasizes Jesus’ humility and obedience, even to the point of death on the cross. It calls on believers to adopt the same mindset of selflessness and servitude that Jesus demonstrated. Here, it’s all about not letting ego get in the way. It encourages us to be humble and consider others, just like someone who doesn’t brag about their achievements or status but instead helps others and works for the greater good.


Mark 15:1-39 narrates the events of Jesus’ crucifixion, focusing on both divine providence and human agency in the unfolding of these events. It portrays Jesus enduring the violence and humiliation of Roman execution while fulfilling the scriptural prophecies of the Messiah. This Gospel shows the ultimate example of someone being mistreated and facing injustice but responding with grace and forgiveness. It’s a call to face life’s challenges with courage and to stand by your values, even when it’s the hardest thing to do.


Together, these readings for Palm and Passion Sunday invite reflection on the paradox of Jesus’ kingship and his suffering, the fulfillment of prophecy, and the call to Christian discipleship through humility and sacrifice. The readings set the tone for Holy Week, leading up to the commemoration of Jesus’ death and the celebration of His resurrection. They remind believers of the profound love and sacrifice that is central to the Christian faith.


It’s about being true to what’s right, serving others with humility, and responding to negativity with kindness and forgiveness. Whether it’s at work, with family, or in our community, we can aim to be patient, selfless, and resilient, just like the examples we see in these readings. It’s not easy, but it’s a powerful way to live and make a positive impact on the world around us.


Save us! Too often we proclaim these same words in a variety of ways- Jesus does not enter to save the Jews from the Romans, but to save people from themselves. Instead of expecting to be saved from outside influences- how might we invite Jesus in to save us from ourselves (inclinations away from God)?

  1. What are every day, “normal” powers in our world, in society and in the church, that oppress people? How have we learned to live with them?
  2. What is your response to these systems, especially when they use religion as a justification?
  3. Where has your Lenten journey taken you in reflecting on the meaning of the death of Jesus?


He was the One coming in the name of the Lord. He bears their ancestor David’s story to them. They cry Hosanna – “please save us”. They want Jesus to rescue them from their peril. This scene has climax and anti-climax. Some people adore him, he looks around the temple, and then he goes to Bethany. The Gospels give a sense of the last days. There were meals, conversations, procedures, and betrayal. We see in them both Jesus’ determination and his anguish.

The services in our churches on Palm Sunday will point us to the week ahead. We will recall the cross and may hear about the empty tomb. We are rehearsing and remembering the story that gives us hope. Jesus dies and rises again. We too will die and rise with Jesus. The entire New Testament is written from the perspective of people who knew confidence that Jesus rose from the dead. Jesus was aware that his death was coming and had taught that he would rise from the dead. But we do not know how he felt, then and there. The palliative care specialist, Kathryn Mannix, reminds people of the importance of talking about dying. She says it is helpful for the person and their loved ones. She urges us to move away from the silence about death. Palm Sunday and Good Friday might speak to us more closely at various points of our life. We journey in the shadow of our own death or the death of someone we love. We are conscious of its tragedy and imposition of loss. We too know its inevitability but not always its imminence. Our lives are shaped by the reality of our frailty. Easter remains our hope. Our lives and our deaths are not pointless but purposeful.


Palm Sunday is an invitation to make our Christian journey as people of the resurrection. To have the hope of heaven always before us.


The Palm Sunday to Easter pilgrimage is about love. God’s eternal action towards creation is love. God’s desire is that all might know his love. God’s intention is that everyone in every time might live in love. The one riding the donkey into Jerusalem is the bearer and reminder of this love. His suffering and dying is an expression of love. His resurrection is an assurance of love. As his disciples, we are bearers of love.