Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion, Year B

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Lectionary: 37 and 38
Read the Gospel: Mark 14:1--15:47

Gospel Summary
Mark’s account of the Passion is the shortest of the Gospel accounts and is known for its swift impact and drama. It begins with an unnamed woman pouring costly perfumed oil on Jesus’ head and includes accounts of the Last Supper, Jesus and his disciples praying in Gethsemane, Jesus’ arrest, his trial, Crucifixion, Death, and burial.

Reflection for Families
The Gospel story told today further unfolds in the liturgies of Holy Thursday evening and Good Friday. The Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Vigil/Easter Sunday) is the Church’s annual retreat time. It is a time to tell the story of the Paschal Mystery—the suffering, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The story is told through lavish use of song, Scripture, symbol, Sacrament, and procession. This is the holiest time of the entire Church year. How will your family spend these holiest of days? As Holy Week begins, make room on the family calendar for quiet and prayer together, and make time to attend the liturgies of the Triduum.

Bringing the Gospel Into Your Family
If you are unable to attend your parish’s celebration of the Triduum, gather your family and read aloud the appropriate portions of today’s Gospel on Holy Thursday evening and on Good Friday. Sing a simple refrain or hymn such as “Jesus, Remember Me” and spend a few moments together in silent prayer.

Discussion Starters

Instead of responding to open-ended discussion questions today, invite family members to take part in a lengthier discussion on each of the days of the Triduum.

1. On Holy Thursday: On this night, Jesus gathered together his closest friends—his disciples—to share a special meal. If you were holding a special meal tonight, what friends would you invite and why? What foods would you serve? What would you talk about?

2. On Good Friday: On this day, Jesus suffered and died on the Cross out of love for us. What does it mean to you that he did this? Who are those suffering in the world, in your workplace, in your classroom, and in your family today? How can you ease their suffering?

3. On Holy Saturday: Jesus is in the tomb. His friends are trying to make sense of what has happened. They cannot see the coming of the Resurrection. Today is a day for waiting and for praying. For what are you waiting? For what do you wish to pray?