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Palm Sunday: God is in Charge

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The Gospel reading for Palm Sunday is riveting  (Matthew 26:14—27:66); it moves us through a gamut of emotions as we picture crowds adoring Christ as He enters Jerusalem, witness the Last Supper, watch Judas betray his friend, Peter deny his Lord, the trials, the crowds now roaring for Jesus’s death, and the agony of the crucifixion.

However, what strikes me this year about the Passion narrative is that everyone eventually ends up serving God, whether they know it or not, whether they act in an ungodly manner or out of weakness.

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'God seems so distant, so forgetful, so absent.' Sunday Reflections, Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, Year A

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Christ's Entry inot Jerusalem Melozzo da Forli [Web Gallery of Art]

The Commemoration of the Lord’s Entrance into Jerusalem
Matthew 21:1-11.
When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, “The Lord needs them.” And he will send them immediately.’This took place to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet, saying, ‘Tell the daughter of Zion,
Look, your king is coming to you,
    humble, and mounted on a donkey,
        and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds th…

Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem

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Seeing Jesus as a charismatic wannabe revolutionary is possible. So is assuming that he was politically inept or stark raving mad. Maybe both.

Another option is seeing Jesus as a great teacher, one of the world's best: in the same league as Socrates, Kapila and Confucius.

The 'up' side of the 'great teacher' view is that it acknowledges our Lord as someone who talked about ethics and made sense.

The 'down' side, and it's a big one, is that Jesus of Nazareth said this....

(More, at A Catholic Citizen in America>)

'It is part of following Christ that we allow ourselves to be roped together.' Sunday Reflections, Palm Sunday, Year C

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Entry into Jerusalem, Lorenzo Ghiberti [Web Gallery of Art]

Readings(New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
The gospel for the procession with palms is included here. The shorter form of the Passion according to St Luke is Luke 23:1-49. Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
The gospel for the procession with palms is included here as is the Passon according to St Luke arranged for reading by  N. Narrator.  Jesus. O. Other single speaker. C. Crowd, or more than one speaker.
Gospel for Procession with PalmsLuke 19:28-40 (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition)
After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples, saying, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it …

‘Abba, Father, . . . remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.’ Sunday Reflections, Palm Sunday, Year B

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From The Gospel of John (2003) directed by Philip Saville
[John 12:12-16 runs from 0:00 to 0:56]
The Commemoration of the Lord’s Entrance into Jerusalem
Mark 11:1-10 (NRSVACE)

When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples and said to them, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, “Why are you doing this?” just say this, “The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.”’ They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, some of the bystanders said to them, ‘What are you doing, untying the colt?’ They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches tha…

‘This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.’ Sunday Reflections, Palm Sunday, Year A

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Christ's Entry into Jerusalem,
Melozzo da Forli

The Commemoration of the Lord's Entrance into Jerusalem

Gospel Matthew 21:1-11 (NRSV,Catholic Ed., Can.)

When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, “The Lord needs them.” And he will send them immediately.’ This took place to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,
‘Tell the daughter of Zion,
Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’
The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. …