The Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion has two parts. The first part is the Commemoration of the Lord’s Entrance into Jerusalem. A solemn procession is usually held after the people gather in a place outside the church. The Gospel Reading in the first part of the Mass tells how Jesus entered into Jerusalem. The people welcoming him kept crying out: Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come! Hosanna in the highest! It was a triumphant entry for Jesus.
The second part of the liturgy is the Eucharistic Celebration where the priest proceeds to the main church where the usual Mass is held. The Mass begins with the Collect and followed by the Liturgy of the Word. The first reading is from the book of the Prophet Isaiah (Is 50:4-7). One of the four servant songs in Isaiah declares the Servant’s confidence and fidelity to the Lord God amidst derision and persecution.
The second reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Philippians (Phil 2:6-11) emphasizes that Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness.
The Gospel reading from the Gospel of Mark is the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, describing how Jesus suffered the cruelest death. The chief priests accuse him of many things and Pilate is amazed because Jesus gives no answer to all of Pilate’s questions. As part of the Feast, Pilate releases to the people one prisoner whom they requested – a man called Barrabas was then in prison along with rebels who had committed murder in a rebellion.
Let us commemorate Jesus’ offering of his life for us and follow him with a living faith. May we all partake in his death and have a new life, in accordance to God’s will for all of us. The message this Palm Sunday is to always welcome Jesus through our deepest pain and suffering that like him, we may be a true follower of the Lord.