Palm Sunday, Year A, Junior High

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Junior High Session

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


Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Lord Jesus,
you show your greatness by being the servant of all.
Thank you for the gift of your saving love.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.


Opening Life Reflection

The focus for today is the Lord’s Passion. To begin, divide a sheet of poster paper in half and on top of one side write the heading, “tragedy” and on the other side write “new life”. Invite the youngsters to brainstorm any tragic events that come to mind. Write down their responses under the heading “tragedy.” Then ask if they can think of any good that has come out of the tragic situations listed. Write down their responses under the heading “new life.” Discuss:

  • Can good come out of a tragic situation? Explain.
  • How can hardship bring out what is best in a person?
  • What good has come out of the suffering and death of Jesus Christ?

Allow time for discussion. On Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord we recall how Jesus triumphantly enters the City of Jerusalem and the crowds honor him. Then by his suffering and death Jesus reveals his true glory.


Listening to the Word of God

In the Old Testament listen to how God’s people are given hope.

Read Isaiah 50:4-7.

Allow for silence.


Scripture Discussion Starters

  • What causes God’s servant to suffer?
  • How are the people given hope?
  • Where does God’s servant find help?

In today’s gospel, we hear how Jesus suffers and dies on the cross. Listen to the passion of the Lord.

Read Matthew 26:14-27:66.

Allow for silence.

  • Why is Jesus arrested?
  • What does Pilate do?
  • What does Jesus cry out before he dies on the cross?
  • Why is Jesus crucified?
  • 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. Our 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

  • In the midst of suffering how do you find hope?
  • Why is Jesus’ death not a failure?
  • How is the passion of Jesus part of God’s plan for salvation?


[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.

  • How do you “listen to” God?
  • Why is Christ a model of obedience for all believers?
  • What helps remind you of God’s great love for you?


The Gospel in Life

How can you give thanks and praise to Jesus this week?


Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition

At Home Family Guide, theme 4
Junior High, Jesus in the New Testament, chapters 3 and 11
Junior High, Mystery of God, chapter 8
Junior High, Church History, chapter 3

Posted in: Sessions A