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SUNDAY SCRIPTURES FOR MARCH 24 | Palm Sunday Scriptures set the table for the banquet feast of Holy Week

Familiar stories offer deep mysteries of living, dying and rising

Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, when the Church begins to set a banquet table filled with the richness of the Word of God and the best of our rituals, ceremonies and traditions in preparation for Easter.

The Old Testament and Gospel excerpts for this weekend are filled with living, dying and rising. The Church adds an extra Gospel reading to prepare the way for Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Many of these stories are incredibly familiar, yet we don’t often understand the depth of the mysteries of faith.

Why are we offered so much in one celebration? The end of Holy Week is broken up into Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil. Add to that the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday morning, and there is much to take in; it might be easy to miss some of the Scripture messages.

Mixed in with all those scriptures and rituals is an account of the prophet Isaiah (50:4-7) that describes a suffering servant of God who is faithful in the midst of difficulty. Read chapter 50 of Isaiah, then consider if we’ve become too cynical. How often do we see events and believe the circumstances are beyond God’s grace and love? That is a dangerous place to be. When we give up hope in God’s faithfulness, what else is there to hold on to?

Among the incredible blessings of Catholic tradition are many people who have gone before us and made a difference in the world. We may not picture ourselves as that kind of person, but the grace that dwelt in those holy people also dwells in us.

Take any of the excuses we hide behind to avoid doing God’s will; look through the lives of the saints and the people in Scripture and you will find somebody just like you. That person, your twin in the Scriptures and tradition, was used by God in the past. What makes you think that God can’t use you as well? Do you realize that people who have come before you faced even greater difficulties than you do now, and they have been steadfast and faithful? They are why we stand in faith today and are given the opportunity to be that same faithful presence for others. If not us, then who? If not now, then when?

Feast on the banquet table of Scripture and tradition this week, and let it move you beyond complacency and cynicism to action, bringing the Gospel to other people by your example. Be faithful when it seems that no one else is being faithful. Be generous when others seem to be selfish. Be hopeful when other people are paralyzed by fear and anxiety. The presence of Jesus Christ is here and now.

From the Archive Module

SUNDAY SCRIPTURES FOR MARCH 24 Palm Sunday Scriptures set the table for the banquet feast of Holy Week 9446

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