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Palm Sunday, Year B

Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion


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Today we celebrate one of the most solemn and important Sundays of the entire liturgical year.  It's commonly known as Palm Sunday, but the official title is actually Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord.  And, the reason you have both of those things together — Palm Sunday and the passion— is because every year on this Sunday the Church celebrates both the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem at the beginning of Holy Week, when they laid palms on the road as he went into the city, and the passion and death of Jesus that takes place on Good Friday of Holy Week.  So, it's kind of like a dual Sunday. It’s dedicated to two major moments that encapsulate, like bookends, the beginning and the climax of Holy Week with the death of Christ.  One of the reasons the Church does this — if you're wondering — is because in the three-year cycle of readings she gives us the passion narrative from Matthew in Year A, Mark in Year B, and then Luke in Year C on Palm Sunday.  And, then if you go to mass on Good Friday — which is not required although obviously it's recommended — if you go to the service on Good Friday then you're going to hear the passion narrative from the Gospel of St. John every single year on Good Friday.  So, for those of you who go to mass on Sunday and then go to Church on Friday as well, you're going to get two different accounts of the passion of the Lord....

 

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