Reflection: Palm Sunday

Chinese Mass:Every Sunday 2:15 p.m.

Our Lady of the Assumption RC Church, Assumption Priory, Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green E2 9PB (map)

After Mass you are welcome to join the community for a tea gathering

Bible study/sharing every Saturday (2:00-4:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church, 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX (near See Woo Chinese Supermarket, Leicester Square tube station)

Talk and discussion meeting First Monday of every month (4:00-6:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church


[1st Reading – Is.50:4-7; Ps.21; 2nd Reading – Phil.2:6-11; Gospel – Mk.14:1-15:47]


This year’s Gospel for Palm Sunday (year B) is the Passion narrative as found in the Gospel of Mark.  Mark’s is the shortest Book of the four Gospels but his Passion Narration is quite long.

It is more than appropriate that on this “Passion Sunday”, our reflection be on the Passion of the Lord!  Instead, we will be reflecting on the second reading, which is taken from the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians.  While writing, Paul had the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord in his mind and therefore it should not deviate our thoughts and meditations about the Lord’s suffering for our sake – for our Salvation.

The starting point for St. Paul is that Jesus is God.  Jesus is equal to God.  Jesus is divine.  Yet, this condition gave him the possibility to become a man and even lower then a man, a true slave.  He “freely” passed from one extreme (Godhead) to the opposite extreme (slavery).  He became a slave because he gave his life instead of all the others’ who were to die because of their sins!  Thus, he passed from being the one who gives life through creation, to becoming the one whose life is taken through death – the meanest one – on the Cross.  This latter (life) was taken from him but at the same time became the source of life for all beings because through his death, all beings could live.  But God did not leave him in his Death!  He gave life back to him restoring his divinity with it.  It is through this that one could see the power and might and therefore the glory of God the Father.  Furthermore, Jesus’ descent to humanity meant, at the same time, the humanity’s ascent to God.  It is through Jesus that we, or better still, all beings could see the glory of God in its utmost.  Thus by pronouncing Jesus’ name – which means believing that he is resurrected – one will also be professing his belief in God: therefore glorifying God the Father as well.

It seems that Jesus, in today’s Passion narrative, has the same starting point as St. Paul.  In his human weakness he wants to show his divine power in a simple ordinary way.  It is interesting to note that during the whole trial in today’s Gospel, Jesus was silent except in two moments: when he was asked by the High Priest if he was the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One and when Pilate asked him if he was the king of the Jews (therefore the promised one of Davidic descendence).  Jesus answered in the affirmative for the first question and seemingly positive in the second as well.

“Lord, help me to see your glory through the weakness of the Cross and my weakness through the glory of your resurrection.  Thanks You Lord!”

Fr. Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv.

(Permission to reproduce on this site by Fr. Jesmond, St. Patrick’s RC Church, Waterloo )

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