Gospel: (Matthew 21: 1-11 and 26: 14-27) 

When Jesus and the disciples drew near Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find an ass tethered, and a colt with her  Untie them and bring them here to me.  And if anyone should say anything to you, reply,’ The Master has need of them.’” …The crowds preceding him kept crying out and saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; hosanna in the highest.” After they had crucified him, they divided his garments by casting lots. The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus feared greatly when they saw the earthquake and all that was happening, and they said, “Truly, this was the Son of God!”


From the high hosanna acclamation to the low of betrayal, denial, and abandonment the gospel take us up and down to the brink of life itself.  Like the disciples, we also know who Jesus is.  Every Sunday we make our profession of faith: “We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God…” This Palm Sunday we are invited to reflect on our own knowledge of who Jesus is and how well we confess him in our daily living.   It is a daily choice to live the gospel’s requirement that we die to ourselves for the sake of others.  This is how we confess Jesus as the Son of God.  This is how, rather than denial and abandonment, we come to stand at the cross with Jesus.  (Living Liturgy, p 88)

Vincentian Meditation:

“The world has grown cold, it is for us Catholics to rekindle the vital fire which had been extinguished.  It is for us to inaugurate the era of the martyrs, for it is a martyrdom possible to every Christian.  To give one’s life for God and for one’s brothers (and sisters), to give one’s life in sacrifice, is to be a martyr.  It is indifferent whether the sacrifice be consummated at one moment, or whether slowly consuming, it fills the altar night and day with sweet perfume.  To be  martyr is to give back to heaven all that one has received, wealth, life, our whole soul.” –Bl. Frederic Ozanam- (Ramson, Praying with Frederic, p.103)

Discussion: (Share your thoughts after a moment of silence) 

Indeed, the “Master has need of us” to rekindle the vital fire which has been extinguished in our world.  What form has martyrdom taken for you or for those who are dear to you?

Closing Prayer:           

            Lord, give us the generosity of martyrs, so that we can give:

to an enemy, forgiveness         

to an opponent, tolerance

to our family, love and respect

to all men and women, charity.   Amen

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