Luke 22:14-23:56 [or 23:1-49]
Let us pray.
thank you for sending your Son Jesus
who died on the cross to give us new life.
Help us to understand that Jesus’ death and resurrection
has brought salvation to the world.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.
Opening Life Reflection
Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord celebrates Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem and it begins Holy Week. Today’s session centers on the events of Jesus’ passion and death. Begin the session with a cross making activity. Provide each child with two popsicle sticks or small twigs, colorful yarn and glue. Have the children glue the sticks together to make a cross. The yarn can be used to wrap around the center where the two sticks come together. Discuss:
- What meaning does the cross have for Christians?
- How is the cross a symbol of hope?
Listening to the Word of God
In the Old Testament reading listen to how God helps those who suffer.
Read Isaiah 50:4-7.
Allow for silence.
Scripture Discussion Starters
- What gift is given to the Lord’s servant?
- How does the Lord’s servant suffer?
- Where does the servant find help?
In today’s Gospel listen to the events that lead to Jesus’ death on the cross.
Read Luke 22:14-23:56 [or 23:1-49].
Allow for silence.
- What happens to Jesus when he is brought before Pilate?
- What happens to Jesus when he brought to Herod?
- What does the crowd want Pilate to do?
- Who is Jesus crucified with?
- What does Jesus say while he is on the cross?
Provide 2-3 minutes of background information on the readings.
In the first reading we are given an image of dignity and courage in the face of trial. This reading from the Book of Isaiah was written to provide comfort and hope to the Jewish people at a time of great hardship. The author attempts to make sense out of the suffering that Israel was undergoing. In this Old Testament reading we find similarities between the servant who is mocked and tormented whose help is in God, and the passion and death of Jesus.
In today’s Gospel we reluctantly journey with Jesus toward his death on the cross. According to Pilate, Jesus has done nothing to deserve death, yet the crowd shouts, “crucify him.” Luke’s account of the passion reveals Jesus as the true model of martyrdom. With quiet dignity and great courage, Jesus finds strength in his union with God. Ultimately, it is Jesus’ death on the cross that leads to new life and the resurrection.
Questions for Deeper Reflection
- Where do you find signs of life after death in nature?
- Where can you turn for help when you are suffering?
- How does the death and resurrection of Jesus give you hope?
If you are not going to continue with the doctrinal discussion, proceed to the Gospel in Life.
Doctrinal Discussion Starters
The meaning of suffering
To greater or lesser degrees, everyone experiences sickness, pain and suffering. In the light of faith, these burdens are given meaning. This does not mean that we are not to struggle against illness or painful situations. Jesus had compassion on those who were sick and he worked miracles of healing. As followers of Christ we are encouraged to seek help ourselves and offer help to others who are suffering.
The celebration of the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick with its laying on of hands and anointing with holy oil seeks to help those who are suffering. Those who are sick receive in this sacrament the strength to unite themselves more closely with God.
- How can faith in God help those who are sick?
- How can you help others who are sick or in pain?
- How does the Church help those who are sick and suffering?
The Gospel in Life
Who are the people in your community who are sick or in pain? Think of one thing that you can do this week to help bring comfort and hope to someone who is suffering.
Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition
At Home Family Guide, themes 4 and 9
Grade 4, page 261 parish and 369 school, and chapter 14 and 15
Grade 5, page 261 parish and 369 school, and chapter 16
Grade 6, page 261 parish and 369 school, and chapter 17
Blest Are We
Grade 4, chapter 5
Grade 5, chapter 13
Grade 6, chapter 2