Palm Sunday and Holy Week.

Palm Sunday and Holy Week.

The Hour has come.

The holiest week of the year is so rich in ritual and readings that we might almost be overwhelmed. Jesus found the apostles sleeping in the garden, and told them that they should be awake and praying. In the busyness of this week, it is crucial for us to be conscious of what the Lord is undergoing for us, and to pray with him.

Each day’s reading comes as usual from the readings of the Sunday, and since the Gospel is the Passion of the Lord from Mark’s Gospel we can reflect on the events as they unfold. As we enter into this Hour of salvation, let us ask the Lord to teach us to listen as a disciple.

As you begin these reflections each day spend a few moments repeating the phrase “Speak Lord, your servant it listening.” Then read the short passage from Sunday’s readings until you have memorised it. Read the questions and give yourself time to deeply consider your response. Once you have reflected for a few minutes, speak to the Lord, as you would to a friend, about what you have reflected upon.

Sunday.

Those who went in front and those who followed were all shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessings on the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest heavens. (Mark 11:9-10)

  • What does the coming of the kingdom mean to you?
  • When have you found it easy to praise the Lord?
  • What do you want to praise God for currently?
  • What is God response to your praise?

Monday.

So that I may know how to reply to the wearied he provides me with speech. Each morning he wakes me to hear, to listen like a disciple. The Lord has opened my ear. (Isaiah 50:4-5)

  • What is your morning prayer time like?
  • Is there a part of your life where you haven’t opened your ear to hear God’s word?
  • Have you ever experienced a time when the Lord has given you the right words to say in a situation?
  • Listen to the Lord now like a disciple.

Tuesday.

 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me (Psalm 21:2)

  • Remember times when you have felt forsaken.
  • How does it feel to hear these words on the lips of Jesus?
  • What are the “why” questions that you want to ask God?
  • What is the Lord saying to you about your feelings of forsakenness?

Wednesday.

His state was divine, yet Christ Jesus did not cling to his equality with God but emptied himself to assume the condition of a slave, and became as men are, and being as all men are, he was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross. (Philippians 2: 6-8)

  • Reflect on the divinity of Christ who emptied himself for you.
  • Reflect on the acceptance of death on the cross for you.
  • Reflect on the humility of God who comes to you.
  • Listen to the Lord telling you why he did all this for you.

Holy Thursday.

As they were eating he took some bread, and when he had said the blessing he broke it and gave it to them saying, ‘Take it, this is my body.’ Then he took a cup and when he had returned thanks he gave it to them, and all drank from it, and he said to them, ‘This is my blood, the blood of the covenant, which is to be poured out for many.’  (Mark 14:22-24)

  • Reflect on the place of the Eucharist in your spiritual life.
  • What do you experience when you eat and drink Holy Communion?
  • Reflect on the Blood of Christ being poured out for you.
  • What is the Lord saying to you as he comes to you in Holy Communion?

Good Friday

Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. And the veil of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The centurion, who was standing in front of him, had seen how he had died, and he said, ‘In truth this man was a son of God. (Mark15:37-39)

  • Have you ever been with someone when they died, what was that experience like?
  • How does the death of Jesus make sense of the deaths you have experienced in your life?
  • How do you experience the closeness of the Lord today?
  • Spend a moment gazing at a cross and hear Jesus breathe his last for you.

Holy Saturday

Joseph who brought a shroud, took Jesus down from the cross, wrapped him in the shroud and laid him in a tomb which had been hewn out of rock. He then rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb. Mary of Magdala and Mary the mother of Joset were watching and took note of where he was laid. (Mark 15:46-47)

  • Do you ever visit a grave, as the two Mary’s intended to do? What do you think there?
  • Joseph and the two Marys were present as friends, which friends support you?
  • Have you ever felt a sense of failure and loss?
  • At the silence of the tomb, listen for the voice of the Lord.
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