20th March – Passion/Palm Sunday (C)

I’m remiss in not mentioning that a new grandniece was born on Wed March 16th. She is MaryLMA 089 Joan Browne and is named after my late mother who died back on 20th April 1986. She was 8lbs – 8oz.

Today is Palm/Passion Sunday. Here is a reflection by Sean Goan at www.catholicireland.net.

Holy week begins with a dual focus, namely the events of Palm Sunday and the triumphant march of Jesus into Jerusalem and then, by contrast, the story of his passion and death. In year C we read from Luke’s account of the passion and it is worth our while noting the differences, as each evangelist highlights different things in order to bring out the meaning of what is taking place. As in the public ministry of Jesus, so too in his death Luke stresses the themes of forgiveness and prayer. Only in Luke does Jesus pray that his executioners be forgiven and only here is the good thief mentioned. Also in Luke, Jesus dies with a prayer of trust on his lips (‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit’), thus embodying a teaching that he had given many times in his life.

Suffering is part and parcel of being human and while we must readily acknowledge this fact it is also true that we usually do all in our power to avoid it. The readings for today are an invitation to reflect on how the passion of Jesus can change our outlook on suffering. Our Saviour may be seen in these texts as a model of patient endurance and of faithfulness. We are not asked to believe that suffering is good in itself but to see that good can come of it and to recognise in Jesus, God’s solidarity with all those who endure suffering for doing what is right.