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 get ready for the joy of Jesus’ new life at Easter.
In the name of Jesus we pray.
Opening Life Reflection
Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord celebrates Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, and today’s session centers on the events of Jesus’ passion and death. To begin, use the symbol of a crucifix or cross to hold up before the children. Explain the difference between a cross and a crucifix, which has the figure of the crucified Jesus on it. Discuss:
- What do you think about when you look at this cross/crucifix?
- Why is the cross or crucifix a special symbol for Christians?
When we look at a cross or crucifix we remember how much Jesus loves us. Jesus’ death on the cross leads to new life and the resurrection.
Listening to the Word of God
In today’s Gospel listen to Jesus’ journey to the cross.
Read Luke 22:14-23:56 [or 23:1-49].
Allow for silence.
Scripture Discussion Starters
- Why was Jesus arrested and brought before Pilate?
- Did Pilate think that Jesus was guilty of a crime?
- What did the crowd want Pilate to do with Jesus?
- Who was told to help Jesus carry the cross?
- Was Jesus crucified alone?
- What did Jesus say before he died on the cross?
Provide 2-3 minutes of background information on the Gospel.
The focus of the Gospel reading today is on Jesus’ grand entrance into Jerusalem, and then on the events of his passion and death.
In today’s Gospel Jesus journeys toward his death on the cross. According to Pilate, Jesus has done nothing to deserve death, yet the crowd shouts, “crucify him.” Jesus is innocent, yet the people want him punished. Jesus has compassion on the people who condemn him, he asks God to forgive them because they do not know what they are doing.
Questions for Deeper Reflection
- Where do you see signs of life after death in nature?
- What helps you to get through hard times?
- What helps you to remember how much God loves you?
If you are not going to continue with the doctrinal discussion, proceed to the Gospel in Life.
Doctrinal Discussion Starters
The meaning of suffering
The passion and death of Jesus leads to the glorious resurrection. Jesus’ passover from death to new life has given us the gift of new life. We share in Jesus’ suffering on the cross when we go through hard times, and we too will share in his resurrection and new life.
Everyone at some time in their life experiences sickness, pain and suffering. Jesus knows what it is like to suffer and he helps us through these tough times. While Jesus was on earth he had compassion on those who were sick and he worked miracles of healing. As followers of Jesus we are encouraged to help those who are sick and suffering.
- How does Jesus help people who are sick and suffering?
- How can you help people who are sick?
- How can the symbol of the cross help people who are going through hard times?
The Gospel in Life
How can you help someone you know who is sick? One suggestion is to send a care-note to let them know that you are thinking about them and praying for them.
Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition
At Home Family Guide, themes 4 and 9
Kindergarten, page 165
Grade 1, page 261 parish and 369 school, and chapter 11
Grade 2, page 261 parish and 369 school, and chapter 14
Grade 3, page 261 parish and 369 school, and chapter 15
Blest Are We
Grade 1, chapter 9
Grade 2, chapter 14
Grade 3, chapter 19