Palm Sunday Year B

Published on 22 Mar 2021

‘Hosanna in the highest. Blessed are you, who have come in your abundant mercy!’

Almighty, ever-living God,

who as an example of humility for the human race to follow

caused our Saviour to take flesh and submit to the Cross,

graciously grant that we may heed his lesson of patient suffering

and so merit a share in his Resurrection.

Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, the climax of Jesus’s mission. Today we see him enter Jerusalem on a donkey, as the cheering crowd joyfully proclaims ‘Hosanna’, waving palm branches.

As the story of the Passion unfolds in the Gospel, the mood soon changes. Viewing Jesus as a threat to their religious authority, the chief priests plot to bring about his end. The crowd now turns on Jesus, shouting ‘Crucify him’. Then we accompany Jesus in his suffering to his last breath, hearing those desolate words, ‘My God, my God why have you deserted me?’

We respond with these same words to the Psalm, which describes the humiliation that Jesus will suffer in order to save us. In the last verse, however, the mood changes from dejection to praise and glory.

Though the First Reading also touches on suffering, the servant takes strength from God’s presence with him, even in the worst circumstances.

Paul urges the Philippians to be more Christ-like in their behaviour.

Jesus came amongst us in humility as a servant, showing his great unconditional love for us by dying on the cross. (Second Reading)

As we accompany Jesus through Holy Week, no matter what trials we may be facing, let’s pray for confidence in God’s presence, that we may be strengthened by it and filled with hope as we look forward to Easter.

Each morning he wakes me to hear, to listen like a disciple.     First Reading

O Lord, do not leave me alone;

my strength, make haste to help me.     Responsorial Psalm

Every tongue should acclaim Jesus Christ as Lord.     Second Reading

This week’s texts if you want to explore further:

Isaiah 50: 4–7; Psalm 21 (22); Philippians 2: 6–11; Mark 14: 1 – 15: 47

Download the full reflections below.