Celebrating Mass

Palm Sunday

28th March 2021

Year B – Psalter week 2

Hosanna!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

On Palm Sunday we begin by celebrating the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem while members of the crowd spread garments or branches on the road and cry out in joy for the coming of their King: “Hosanna!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!  Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is coming!  Hosanna in the highest!”

Pope Benedict XVI’s series of books entitled Jesus of Nazareth, draw out many things that we could easily miss during Holy Week, and I would like to focus upon three aspects briefly in this homily concerning Palm Sunday.

Firstly, there is no doubting that the gospels are proclaiming Jesus as the expected Messiah.  Jesus approaches Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives which is the place from which the Messiah was expected to enter.  By sending his disciples to fetch an animal upon whom no one had yet sat, Jesus claims the right of kings, who in antiquity could requisition modes of transport from their subjects.  The people spreading their garments on the road also indicates the presence of a newly crowned king.[1]  Jesus rides upon a colt thus fulfilling a messianic prophecy in Zechariah.[2]  The triumphal procession also recalls Psalm 118, which was sung by pilgrims flocking to Jerusalem.  That psalm includes processional ‘branches’, the acclamation ‘Hosanna’ which means “save us”, and the proclamation of ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’[3]

Secondly, the details of the triumphal procession of Jesus into Jerusalem show the type of king he is.  The riding on a colt as prophesied by Zechariah speaks not of a military king riding on a war horse, but rather a humble king who will destroy the weapons of war and comes to his people in peace.[4]

Finally, Jesus comes ultimately as the suffering servant, who will enter his heavenly glory via the cross.  It is no coincidence that the time of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem coincides with the time when the unblemished lambs were also brought into Jerusalem from the surrounding countryside ready to be sacrificed for the Passover feast.  Jesus is the ultimate unblemished Passover lamb, who will be sacrificed on calvary on Good Friday to take away the sins of the world.[5]

God bless,

Fr Andy

Download Fr Andy’s homily here


[1] See 2 Kings 9:13.
[2] See Zechariah 9:9.
[3] See Psalm 118: 25-27.
[4] See Zechariah 9:10.
[5] See John 1:29; 1 Corinthians 5:7.

First Reading

Isaiah 50:4-7

I did not cover my face against insult: I know I shall not be shamed

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Responsoral Psalm

Psalm 21(22):8-9,17-20,23-24

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

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Second Reading

Philippians 2:6-11

Christ humbled himself but God raised him high

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Mark 14:1-15:47

The PAssion of our Lord Jesus Christ

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Sunday Message and Look

Download this weeks Sunday Message and Look (for our younger parishioners) by clicking on the images, for all the readings for this week, as well as the prayers during mass and the usual weekly thoughts and reflections.  

Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!
Christ was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross.
But God raised him high and gave him the name which is above all names.
Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!

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