Palm Sunday, Year A, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session

Isaiah 50:4-7
Matthew 26:14-27:66


Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Lord Jesus,
you suffered and died for our sins.
Thank you for the gift of our salvation.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.


Opening Life Reflection

The focus for today is the Lord’s Passion. For the session provide green construction paper, scissors, and a pencil for each child. To begin, invite the children to cut long palm branch leaves out of green construction paper. On each leaf have them write down ways that they can give Jesus thanks and praise. Discuss:

  • Why give Jesus thanks and praise?
  • Why did Jesus suffer and die on the cross?
  • How did Jesus save us from our sins?

Allow time for discussion. On Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord we recall how Jesus enters the city of Jerusalem and the crowds praise him. Then by his suffering and death on the cross, Jesus reveals that he is the savior of the world.


Listening to the Word of God

In the Old Testament reading listen to how God’s suffering servant finds hope.

Read Isaiah 50:4-7.

Allow for silence.


Scripture Discussion Starters

  • What gift does God give his servant?
  • What causes God’s servant to suffer?
  • Where does God’s servant find hope?

Today’s Gospel begins with Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Then, listen to the Passion of the Lord.


Read Matthew 26:14-27:66.

Allow for silence.

  • What happens when Jesus enters Jerusalem?
  • What does Pilate do when Jesus is arrested and brought before him?
  • What does Jesus cry out before he dies on the cross?
  • What happens after Jesus dies?


Scripture Background

Provide 2-3 minutes of background information on the readings using the Catechist Background section.

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord is the first day of Holy Week. The focus today is on the Lord’s triumphal entrance into Jerusalem, and then on the events of his passion and death.

In the Old Testament reading today, the Israelites are given consolation and hope. The people of Israel are suffering during the exile and the author of today’s passage tries to make sense of the hardship. In today’s reading, God’s suffering servant finds consolation in a God who does not abandon him. The Lord God is his strength. We can see how the early Christian community identified Jesus with the servant in today’s passage.

Matthew’s account of the Lord’s Passion in today’s Gospel stresses that the passion of Jesus fulfills the Jewish scriptures. Because Matthew is writing for Jewish Christians, he deliberately cites the Jewish scriptures in order to show that Jesus is the promised Messiah. The author of today’s gospel makes the point that Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross was not a failure. The passion of Jesus is part of God’s plan for the salvation of the world.


Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • How does the Church celebrate Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord?
  • How does listening to the passion of Jesus give you hope?
  • Where do you find help in a difficult situation?

[If you are not going to continue with the doctrinal discussion, proceed to the Gospel in Life.]


Doctrinal Discussion Starters

Christ’s Obedience as a Model for Believers

The word obedience has its roots in the Latin word oboedire, which means “to hear or listen to.” Jesus hears and is obedient to God’s plan of salvation. Jesus accepts death on the cross for our sake because he is obedient to the plan of his heavenly Father. Christ is the model of obedience for all believers.

Through the suffering, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus we are saved from sin. The resurrection opens the way for all people to new life. All this is made possible because of the great love that God has for us.

  • What does it mean to be obedient?
  • Why is Christ a model of obedience for all believers?
  • How can you be obedient to God’s will?


The Gospel in Life

How can your words and actions bring hope to others this week?

Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition
At Home Family Guide, theme 4
Grade 4, page 261 parish and page 369 school and chapter
Grade 5, page 261 parish and page 369 school and chapter 7
Grade 6, page 261 parish and page 369 school and chapter 5

Posted in: Sessions A