HOLY WEEK BEGINS

(MATT 26:14-27:66)

 

With Passion (or Palm) Sunday we begin the most solemn week of the Church’s year, and we listen to Matthew’s account of the Passion of Jesus.

We are accustomed to the Stations of the Cross and to hymns which dwell on the sufferings of Jesus, but when we read or listen to the narrative of these events, we notice, that there is little, if any, stress put on the physical pain he has endured.  The evangelist is more concerned to show that Jesus is faithful to his mission, as the mental or psychological struggle in Gethsemane shows. The crown of thorns is an ironic mockery on the part of the soldiers:they are, unconsciously, correct in addressing him, “Hail,King of the Jews!” while they make fun of him. Jesus’ cry from the cross, “Why have you abandoned, and in this he is identified with all those who feel bereft and alone.

 

Matthew relates dramatic events which accompany the death of Jesus, such as the earthquake, the opening of the tombs and the appearing of dead people: these are his way of telling us that with the death of Jesus, the general resurrection has begun. The women from Galilee are the link throughout, being present, at a distance, at the crucifixion, at the burial, and later at the tomb on Easter morning. Matthew alone mentions the setting of the guard and the sealing of the tomb: thus he answers later objections to the proclaiming of the resurrection, that the body of Jesus was missing  because it had been removed

 

REFLECT

The community for which Matthew wrote his version of the Gospel was made up largely of Jewish Christians, and so the argument with the synagogue over the person of Jesus was especially bitter, as family quarrels often, sadly, are.

There was also a concern to minimise the responsibility of the Roman authorities for the death of Jesus: so in this account, we find Pilate’s wife reporting a dream she has had about Jesus which upsets her: this reminds us that Joseph received messages from God in this way in the chapters which told about Jesus’ birth. Pilate himself washes his hands of the matter and the people present are portrayed as accepting full responsibility for Jesus being condemned: “His blood be upon us and on our children!”

This text is one of those which have been tragically and cruelly misappropriated down the centuries to justify persecuting later generations of Jewish people. Despite the horrors of the Holocaust and the events which led up to it, antisemitic attitudes and behaviour have not disappeared. Jesus was a Jew: his mother was Jewish, as were his early disciples. Judaism, Christianity and Islam all claim Abraham as their ancestor of faith.

Perhaps we might keep in in mind the words of Jesus at the Last Supper, “this is my blood, the blood of the covenant, which is to be poured out for all people.” No exceptions.

 

SAY

Christ was humbler

yet, even to accepting

death, death on a cross.

(Phillippians 2:8)

 

LEARN

The Passion narrative is the earliest

connected unit in the Gospel tradition

—————————————-

The Pharisees are mentioned only once in

all the four accounts of the Passion: that is in

connection with the request to Pilate to set a

guard at the tomb of Jesus

——————————————

It is the chief priests, the scribes and the

elders who plot and secure the death of

Jesus.

——————————————

DO

Take time to contemplate the cross:

remember that it is Jesus’ commitment to

his mission, his obedience to the Father,

which redeems us, not his physical suffering.

 

 

 

PALM SUNDAY FOR FAMILY & CHILDREN

PALM SUNDAY is the beginning of Holy Week. We remember that Jesus came to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of Passover with his friends.

He arrived into the city on a donkey and the people waved palms and shouted ‘Hosanna’ as he passed by.

This was their way of showing that they believed that Jesus was indeed the ‘Messiah,’ the one sent by God to save them.

On Palm Sunday the priest blesses palms at Mass, we bring them home with us and put them somewhere that we can see them during the coming year.

This year we won’t be able to go to Mass and bring home the palms.

So why not find a branch with green leaves when you go for a walk or in your garden?

If you can’t do this then print out, colour and cut out the picture of the Palm Leaves below

 

 

 

On Palm Sunday watch the story of how Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey here

Pray together as you put the palm in your prayer space, in the window or on your front door

‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest’.

Prayers of the Faithful

Lord, at this most difficult and dangerous time for your children throughout the world, as our loving Father we ask you to hear our prayers.

INTERCESSIONS

In today’s reading of the Passion, we see that Peter, who had seen Jesus transfigured on Mount Tabor and recognised him as the Saviour, deny him three times. At this difficult time for the Church, we ask for the faith to stand by Jesus and have the courage to publicly proclaim the Word of the Lord.

We pray to the Lord  R. Lord hear our prayer

During this Holy Week, we pray for the grace to reflect on the Way of the Cross and on the sufferings which Christ endured out of love for us.

We pray to the Lord  R. Lord, hear our prayer

Lord, during this Holy Week we pray that all Christians who believe in you, who hope in you and who love you, will worship you in harmony and in the love which you desire.

We pray to the Lord   R. Lord hear our prayer

As we reflect on the sacrifice which Jesus suffered on behalf of humanity, we pray that our society display that same love as we struggle to overcome the Corona Virus. We pray that at this time, we dedicate ourselves by word and action to a renewal of our commitment to our Christian faith and love of neighbour.

We pray to the Lord  R. Lord hear our prayer

We pray for all those people throughout the world who are suffering from the Corona Virus and particularly for those in intensive care. We pray also for the sick and elderly who at this time are housebound, isolated and unable to see or be with their loved ones.

We pray to the Lord R. Lord hear our prayer

We pray for health workers throughout the world and particularly in our own country, who at great personal risk and sacrifice, are attending to the needs of victims of this devastating global pandemic. We pray that the Lord bless them with safety in their work and reward their personal sacrifices with success in their labours.

We pray to the Lord  R. Lord hear our prayer

We bow our heads and remember in silence our own personal intentions and the intentions of those who have asked for our prayers.

We pray to the Lord R. Lord hear our prayer

CONCLUSION

We thank you, Father,  for the promise our faith holds out to us. Through our prayers and Lenten observances, may we grow even stronger in our faith. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Bringing Palm Sunday Home

Click here for the 👉 Palm Sunday Liturgy of the Lord's Passion

Masses for Palm Sunday

Mass will be broadcast live  from St. Peter's Church Bray for the Enniskerry /Bray Pastoral Area at 10am and at 11:30 am.

Click the link to join in celebration 👉 https://www.churchservices.tv/braystpeters

 

Pope Francis will celebrate all of the Holy Week Rites in St. Peter’s Basilica, starting with Palm Sunday at 10am Irish Time on, 5 April.

You can watch live here

 

RTÉ broadcasting output of liturgies during Holy Week 2020

On Palm Sunday  Rev Professor Michael Mullaney, President of Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, will celebrates Mass  at 1100am with music from internationally  acclaimed singer, Celine Byrne, accompanied by Ronan Murray. (RTÉ One TV / RTÉ Radio 1 Extra / LW252 / Digital Radio platforms.)

Church Leaders ‘Call to Pray’ on Palm Sunday 3-4pm

The leaders of the Church of Ireland, Methodist Church in Ireland, Roman Catholic Church, Presbyterian Church in Ireland and the Irish Council of Churches, have paid tribute to everyone in the health and social care services and those in the frontline, for their courage in the battle against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The leaders of Ireland’s main Churches, together with other denominations and Christian organizations, have also issued a call to pray, which will take place on Palm Sunday, 5 April from 3 pm-4 pm. At this time from his home by  webcam

https://www.armagharchdiocese.org/live-feed/

Archbishop Eamon will lead a gentle reading and powerful meditation on the Passion narrative in Matthew`s gospel.