Luke 23:1-49 | Questions


///John 8:1-11 – Woman caught in adultery

///John 8:1-11 – Woman caught in adultery

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The King Enters His City

Passion Part 1  |. Passion Part 2  |  Passion Part 3  |  Passion Part 4

Passion Sunday begins Holy Week, a week we remember and relive the sufferings of Jesus on the cross. It is a solemn time to reflect on our suffering and failings, to empathize with others who hurt and to walk a few steps in the sandals of the Master.

Luke portrayed the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem as the procession of a king. The King had come, but the assent to the throne would be through suffering.



Spiritual Reflection Questions


1. “Jesus proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem.” Was Jesus going to Jerusalem for the procession honoring him as king, or for his crucifixion?

2. Why did the Pharisees want the crowd to be quiet? Why did Jesus say to them “if they keep silent, the stones will cry out!”?

SOURCE: The SUnday Website at Saint Louis University


Studying God’s Word

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Note: Rather than the main Gospel reading for Palm Sunday, this week we will be looking at the shorter Processional Gospel (Luke 19:28-40), proclaimed at the beginning of the Palm Sunday Liturgy, where is recounted Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. This account is related in all four Gospels (Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; John 12:12-19). • This event marks the beginning of Holy Week, the last week in Jesus’ earthly life spent in and around Jerusalem. It is also one week before Easter, the Feast of the Resurrection. • Right before these events, Jesus (in the city of Jericho at the time) has just finished relating the parable of the ten pounds (Luke 19:1,11-27) where the wicked servants of the king squander his gifts and end up rejecting him. • Jesus’ journey toward Jerusalem takes him through the towns of Bethany (“house of figs”), Bethphage (“house of unripe figs”) to Jerusalem itself, which Jesus previously compared to an unfruitful fig tree (Luke 13:6-9). • By mysterious means (verses 34-34) Jesus arrives in the city mounted upon a colt, or ass, the traditional mount of a king who enters a subject city in peace (1 Kings 1:38-40). In contrast to a warrior-king who enters on a stallion of war, Jesus arrives as the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).


  1. What tasks does Jesus give two of his disciples? What problems might they have encountered in such a job?
  2. How do you picture the scene in verses 35-38? What do you see? Hear? Feel?
  3. What were the people expecting Jesus to do when he reached Jerusalem (verse 11. See Zechariah 9:9-10)? How are their expectations different from his? How does this help explain Jesus’ words and emotions later in verses 41-44?
  4. What does Jesus’ reply to the Pharisees (verses 39-40) imply about him?
  5. What kind of reception would Jesus get: (a) if he rode into your town today? (b) After the people there heard his message?
  6. When have you seen someone who was enthusiastic for God in public? What was your reaction to that enthusiasm? When have you shown enthusiasm yourself for him in public? How do you think God looks upon those who are unashamed to show their love for him in front of others (Luke 9:26; Mark 8:38)?
SOURCE: Sunday Scripture Study by Vince Contreras, Used with Permission

Junior High Scripture Discussion Starters

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  • Why is Jesus brought before Pilate?
  • Why does Pilate send Jesus to Herod?
  • What do Herod’s soldiers do to Jesus before sending him back to Pilate?
  • What does the crowd demand of Pilate?
  • Who is ordered to help Jesus carry the cross?
  • What does Jesus tell the women who follow him?
  • What are Jesus’ last words?

Questions for Deeper Reflection

  1. How can you relate to the passion of Jesus?
  2. Are you able to find strength in God in times of suffering?
  3. What gives you hope in times of hardship?
SOURCE: Lectionary Resources by RCL BENZINGER

Our Sunday Readings

The King of Peace

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SOURCE: Our Sunday Readings by Edrianne Ezell, Used with Permission


Sharing God’s Word

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  1. Share with the group or person next to you what spoke to you most in the Gospel. With this first question, try to refrain from commenting on what others said. Just share what spoke to you and then move on to the next person.
  2. The first reading is certainly one we could and should pray frequently. What spoke to you most? Do you exercise a well-trained tongue; open your ears to hear; turn away from physical abuse?
  3.  Judas is a tragic figure in the Passion story. What do you think went wrong for him? How can we be like Judas?
  4. “Whoever thinks he is standing secure should take care lest he fall” (final verse of second reading, third Sunday of Lent). It seems Peter feels he is standing secure when he said in an earlier encounter with Jesus: “Though all may have their faith in you shaken, mine will never be.” In the Passion story, Peter denies Jesus three times. Do you ever have a sense that even though you think your faith in Jesus is very strong, it may in another way be very fragile?
  5. Which of the 14 Stations of the Cross speaks to you most?
  6. What is the one thing Jesus is saying to us in this Sunday’s Gospel about how a disciple should speak or act?
SOURCE: Commentaries on the Lectionary by Fr. Eamon Tobin (1947-2021), Used with Permission


Echoing God’s Word

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1. What effect do you think the proclamation of the Passion has on the average person who participates in the liturgy on Palm Sunday? What difference does it make for Holy Week? For Easter? Look back over the past several years and ask yourself, “What impact has the reading of the Passion had on me up to now? Have I been moved by it? Have I been drawn to a deeper commitment to Jesus the Lord? Have I been drawn to a deeper conversion from sin?” Why?

2. What character(s) do you most identify with this year in the reading of the Passion? Has this changed over the years? Why? Have you ever been tempted to identify with Jesus? That was the point, for the early Church, wasn’t it? How does that make it different for you if the author really intended that you identify with Jesus? Point out how we are really shortchanging ourselves if we do not identify with Jesus in his dying so that we may rise with him.

3. What would the Gospel be like were there no Passion Narrative? Would it still be a “Gospel?” How come the Passion is “Good News?” What is it that is “good” for the Church in this story? What is there that is “good” for us as individuals? Can you imagine the Christian faith without the story of Jesus’ crucifixion and death? Why is there no Christianity without the Passion of Jesus? Why is there no human life without its own measure of sorrow and of pain?

SOURCE: Echoing God’s Word by Clement D. Thibodeau (1932-2017), Used with Permission


Hearers of the Word

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Pointers for Prayer

When you read the passage, stay with whatever part of it resonates with your own life, but make sure when you pray it that you stay with the passage until you get beyond the violence and the horror to find a good news lesson for you. A few specific points taken at random are:

  1. In this scene of great tragedy, there are people helping others, either reluctantly or with compassion: Simon, the women of Jerusalem, the criminal on the cross, and Jesus himself. Note the differences in the manner in which the help given (as a burden, with sympathy, etc). What has been your experience of helping and being helped?
  2. Despite the persecution by the leaders Jesus still shows forgiveness. When have you seen that spirit of forgiveness in yourself or in others? In your experience what is the effect of a forgiving spirit … or the absence of that spirit?
  3. Towards the end there is a ray of light. Jesus says “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” His relationship with his Father was one of trust, even at a moment like this. What difference has it made to you in times of difficulty or pain to have a relationship of trust with God, or with someone else?

PRAYER O God of eternal glory, you anointed Jesus your servant to bear our sins, to encourage the weary, to raise up and restore the fallen. Keep before our eyes the splendour of the paschal mystery of Christ and, by our sharing in the passion and resurrection, seal our lives with the victorious sign of his obedience and exaltation. Amen.


Reflections by Bishop Jim Golka

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