We know from the school of life that not every day is a day of joy and bliss: there are also gloomy days of suffering, of disappointments and failure. But today, on Palm Sunday "of the Lord's Passion," we are told in no uncertain terms that this was the freely accepted lot of no less than Jesus himself. First, we see him acclaimed in a small triumph, but then we hear how he is led to his death. One week from now, on Easter Sunday, we will hear it clearly and emphatically stated that his death led to the triumph of his own resurrection; we will also hear of the forgiveness and life he brings us. We unite ourselves with Our Lord in his triumph and in his suffering and death and we pray that he will make our life and death as acceptable and meaningful as his.
B. And the Passion Goes On…
Today and during the whole of Holy Week our attention focuses on the sufferings which our Lord endured for our sake and how they led to his resurrection and our own rising from sin and evil and ultimately from death. But we keep also in mind that Jesus goes on suffering today in his body, that means, in his people who are victims of injustice, of deprivation, betrayal, persecution. Let us pray for them that they may also rise with the Lord and that we may help them to rise.
Prayer of the Blessing of the Palms
Let us pray (PAUSE) God of all life, we come before you with green branches, symbols of life and youth, and of Jesus, who called himself the green wood. Bless us, and bless these branches. Let these green twigs and leaves acclaim Christ as our Lord who brings us life's fullness,even though we have to go with him the hard road of suffering and death toward the final victory. We ask this through Christ our Lord who lives and reigns for ever and ever. R/ Amen. The priest sprinkles the branches with holy water in silence.
Gospel of the Palm Blessing (Lk 19:28-40): Blessed Is He Who Comes in the Name of the Lord
The people acclaim Jesus, but during his trial, they will shout: "Crucify him!" Where do we stand?
A brief homily may now be given. Then the priest or a minister invites the people for the procession:
And now, with the disciples and the people of Jerusalem, we acclaim Jesus with joy as our Lord and Savior. We follow him, waving our palm branches.
II. THE EUCHARIST
Song: The procession song serves also as Entrance Song. After the procession or solemn entrance, the priest prays immediately the Opening Prayer. Only if there is no procession or solemn entrance, the usual Penitential Act and Kyrie from the missal are said.
Let us pray that we may follow Jesus on his road of service (PAUSE) God our Father, in Jesus your Son you have shown us that the road that leads to victory is the way of loving service and the willingness to pay the price of sacrifice for faithful, unswerving love. Give us the mentality and attitude of Jesus, that we may learn to serve with him and to love without counting the cost. May we thus become victorious with him who is our Lord for ever and ever. R/ Amen.
Liturgy of the Word
First Reading Introduction: God Will Come to My Help The Suffering Servant of God remains faithful to his mission even when persecuted for he relies on God
Second Reading Introduction: Jesus Humbled Himself and So Became Our Lord God's Son humbled himself to become one of us and to serve us. This is why God raised him up and made him the Lord of all.
Passion Introduction: Jesus' Suffering and Death
Note: The passion does not have the customary greeting at the beginning, just the title. Neither does the Lectionary give the usual conclusion at the end ["This is] the gospel of the Lord."
In the passion, Luke presents Jesus as the one who came to seek and save what was lost. He offers God's mercy to people today.
With Jesus we pray and suffer that all people may find forgiveness and life. We pray: R/ Lord, save your people.- Lord Jesus, our Savior, suffering your agony with you, we pray for all who are dying in pain. We say: R/ Lord, save your people. - Lord Jesus, arrested like a criminal, we pray for all who are in prison. We say: R/ Lord, save your people. - Lord Jesus, denied by your best friends, we pray for all who are deserted by those dear to them. We say: R/ Lord, save your people.- Lord Jesus, brought before unjust judges, we pray for all who suffer from injustice, especially in unjust courts. We say: R/ Lord, save your people.- Lord Jesus, scourged and crowned with thorns, we pray for all who are tortured. We say: R/ Lord, save you people.- Lord Jesus, carrying your cross, we pray for all who don't know how to bear their afflictions. R/ We say: Lord, save your people.- Lord Jesus, dying on the cross abandoned, we pray for all who are alone in life. R/ We say: Lord, save your people. - Lord Jesus, raised from the dead, we pray you to bring us life and peace and to raise us up with you. R/ We say: Lord, save your people.Crucified Lord, hear our prayer. Give us here today the bread of resurrection and life. Turn our ways of the cross into roads to life and joy. Be with us for ever and ever. R/ Amen.
Prayer over the Gifts
Loving Father, on the night before he died Jesus gave himself to his friends in the form of bread and wine, as he does again now here among us. Give us grateful hearts for all his goodness and make us strong enough to give ourselves with him to those with whom we go through life. Let this offering bring us reconciliation with one another and with you. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. R/ Amen.
Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer
Jesus' cross and death brought us forgiveness and life. He died, that we might live. With Jesus we thank the Father for his love.
Deliver us, Lord, from sin and from every other evil, and grant us your forgiveness and peace. In your mercy, give hope and love to those who are abandoned and are agonizing because of their crosses. Lead us all forward in hope toward the full coming among us of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. R/ For the kingdom...
Invitation to Communion
This is Jesus, the Lamb of God, who said: "Anyone who wants to be great among you must be the servant of all, just as I came not to be served but to serve, and to give my life as a ransom for all." Happy are we if we follow the Lord. R/ Lord, I am not worthy...
Prayer after Communion
Loving Father, in this eucharist your Son Jesus has given himself to us as he gave himself totally on the cross. May we learn from him to keep our hope in you alive and to continue going our way in life also when we do not know what will come to us in the future or when we have to bear heavy crosses. For we trust you, and we know that we will rise above our miseries to a life of joy without end, by the power of Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
In Jesus we have seen today how love of God and love of people go hand in hand, are inseparable. Jesus' love for the Father made him go all the way in his love for us. He died in carrying out that mission and in his death we are reborn. Let this thought guide us this Holy Week and inspire our Christian living too: Jesus is the Master and Lord, and we follow him. May God give you strength and bless you: the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.Go with one another the way of Jesus our Lord. R/ Thanks be to God.