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Word-Sunday.com

Were you there?

by Larry Broding at Word-Sunday.com
Used with permission.

Thinking about our demise can be moribund. Such thoughts can come with the loss of a loved one, a danger averted or simply with age. While our culture seems to encourage ignorance of such thoughts (and a delusion of material immortality), it is inevitable that life will present us with the opportunity to think about the end.

How do we prepare for the end? Yes, we can do some spiritual housekeeping. We can update our wills. We can increase the amount of our life insurance. But, there is little we can do to prepare for the suffering our loved ones will endure when we enter the death process.

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Related Questions

  1. How have you prepared for the end of your life?
  2. How has the Passion narrative strengthened your faith commitment?
  3. If you were put on trial as a Christian, would you be condemned or acquitted? Why?
  4. Have you been judged recently? How has that critique affected you?
Option B

Faith Sharing Questions

by Fr. Eamon Tobin | Ascension Catholic Parish
Used with permission.

  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. In the second reading, Paul speaks about the ‘self emptying’ of Christ, something that is required of all of us if we are to be ‘filled’ with Christ.
      • Concretely, what does this self-emptying process involve?
      • Can you give some examples of it from your life or the lives of others?
  3. Which scene in the Passion stirs you the most? Why?
  4. Jesus’ apostles and friends fall asleep and abandon Jesus when he needs them most.
      • How does this happen today?
      • Do you even wonder how you would have acted if you had been in the disciples’ place 2,000 years ago?
  5. In Mark’s passion story, Jesus feels abandoned by his Father.
      • Have you ever felt that way? When?
      • If you never felt that way, what might cause you to feel that way?
  6. 6. Name one thing today’s Gospel says to us that we disciples of Jesus need to heed and act on.

Option C

Essay Questions

by Fr. Clement Thibodeau | Echoing God’s Word  (Portland Diocese)
Used with permission.

  1. What have been your predominant feelings over the years as you have heard the Passion story proclaimed on Palm Sunday?
      • Have you felt sorry for Jesus?
      • Have you felt guilty for contributing through sin to his suffering?
      • Have you seen yourself in Jesus’ place or side-by-side with Jesus as he goes on trial, is beaten, forced to carry the cross, and finally crucified?
  2. Have you ever looked at your future dying as an act of final surrender and total obedience to God?
      • Do you believe that Jesus will be there to accompany you at the last breath?
      • Do you believe that Mary will stand at the foot of your “cross” as you depart from this life?
      • Do you find consolation and strength in this?
  3. Jesus wanted his friends to pray with him as he came close to his Passion.
      • Do you want your friends and family to join you when you pray?
      • What strength do you find in being with others when you pray?
      • Do you enjoy the Sunday liturgy in your parish church more than you enjoy praying by yourself in your room? Why?

 


 

Option A

Scripture Study for Catholics

by Vince Contreras
Used with permission.

Overview of the Gospel

Gospel Overview

  • The events of this Sunday’s Processional Gospel reading take place the Sunday before Holy Week. The following Thursday, Jesus will institute the Holy Eucharist and the priesthood. On Friday he will be unjustly tried, tortured, and die upon the Cross for the sins of mankind. In exactly a week from today, he will rise gloriously from the grave, defeating Satan and death.
  • Jesus now enters Jerusalem in triumph. Whereas he had previously entered the city quietly, he now does so publicly since his mission is almost completed.
  • Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem recalls that of another king—King Solomon (see 1 Kings 1:32-49). Both are called “Son of David;” both ride a donkey (or mule); both were celebrated by a great crowd; both entries caused a commotion in the city.
  • The crowd greets Jesus as a victorious king, sure that he will liberate Roman-occupied Israel in the manner foretold by the prophets (Zechariah 14:3-21). Their shouts of praise will turn into cries of condemnation, however, when Jesus turns out to be a different kind of king than the one they expect (Zechariah 9:9-10).

  1. How is the 1st reading from Isaiah a prophecy relating to Jesus? In what ways are we to imitate our Lord as he is described here? In Psalm 22?
  2. At the beginning of the 2nd reading, we see that Jesus has had equality of God from all eternity. At the end of the reading, we again read about his exaltation and glory. What do we read about him in the middle of the reading? What significance does that have?
  3. In the Gospel, to what town has Jesus come? Why (Matthew 23:27; Mark 10:32-33; Luke 13:33)
  4. Jesus comes on a donkey rather than a stallion. What does this portray (Zechariah 9:9-10)? What kind of king were the people expecting? How do their wishes compare with the reality of Jesus? How might that discrepancy account for the same crowd jeering and shouting later, “Crucify him!” (Mark 15:12-15)?
  5. How would you have reacted if you had been there to greet Jesus riding into town? Do you jump on political or religious bandwagons today? Why or why not?
  6. What difference does it make to you that Jesus is a gentle king, and not like the one described in Matthew 20:25? Does Jesus’ humility “work” for you? Why or why not?
  7. What does Good Friday and Easter mean to you? What will you do this week to prepare yourself spiritually for these most holy of Christian observances?

Option B

Our Sunday Readings

by Edrianne Ezellv
Used with permission.

PART A: MARK 14:32-42

  1. What all might Jesus have hoped for when he began his ministry?
  2. How might this moment for Jesus have been like his time in the desert?
  3. What might Jesus have expected from Peter, James, and John?
  4. What might Peter, James, and John have thought would happen?
  5. Why do the disciples sleep?
  6. Why do you think Jesus keeps going back to the disciples?
  7. How do you think Jesus is able to pray for God’s will to be done?
  8. How do you think Jesus knows that Judas is about to betray him?
  9. When have you struggled as Jesus did?
  10. When did you “keep watch” with a friend?
  11. When did a friend “stay up” for you?

PART B: MARK 15:25-39

  1. Why is crucifixion an especially painful way to die?
  2. What all do you think is running through Jesus’ mind as he hangs on the cross?
  3. What all might the people walking past be thinking?
  4. Where do you think the disciples are?
  5. What might the disciples be thinking?
  6. What do you think Jesus cries out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
  7. Why is the Roman officer there?
  8. What do you imagine the other Roman soldiers doing?
  9. What might have prompted the Roman officer to declare what he does?
  10. Imagine you are at Jesus’ crucifixion. a) Do you say anything? b) Do you do anything? Living the word
  11. What part of this passage stands out to you? Why?
  12. Have you experienced God’s absence?
  13. What should you do during Holy Week?

MONDAYS – 7:30PM EST

Gospel Study

Join the community of Saint Timothy Catholic Church in Laguna Niguel, CA for their weekly Bible study every Monday night from 7:30-8:30pm on Zoom to study the Gospel for the upcoming Sunday! Email Matt Zemanek at mzemanek@st-timsrc.org for the link and information on how to join. No prior experience with the Bible is necessary. All are welcome!

Tuesdays – 8:00pm EST

Catholic Bible Study

Kate & Mike Catholic Crusade

Join Kate & Mike at Catholic Crusade on Tuesdays @ 8pm EST | Join us for our Bible Study livestream every Tuesday. We will read, reflect, and discuss the Gospel reading for the following Sunday’s Mass.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

  1. Why was Jesus troubled? Why was He troubled about His coming death?
  2. What does a person who “loves his life” look like or do… in comparison to one who “hates his life”?
  3. What character qualities does the world look for in a successful person? How are these the same or different from the character qualities that a successful person in God’s eyes must have?
  4. How does the crowd’s reactions in the following verse tell us about the condition of their hearts? — The crowd there heard it and said it was thunder; but others said, “An angel has spoken to him.”

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