As they were leading him away they seized on a man, Simon from Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and made him shoulder the cross and carry it behind Jesus. Large numbers of people followed him, and of women too, who mourned and lamented for him. But Jesus turned to them and said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep rather for yourselves and for your children. For the days will surely come when people will say, “Happy are those who are barren, the wombs that have never borne, the breasts that have never suckled!” Then they will begin to say to the mountains, “Fall on us!”; to the hills, “Cover us.” For if men use the green wood like this, what will happen when it is dry?’ Now with him they were also leading out two other criminals to be executed.
When they reached the place called The Skull, they crucified him there and the two criminals also, one on the right, the other on the left. Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing.’ Then they cast lots to share out his clothing.
The people stayed there watching him. As for the leaders, they jeered at him. ‘He saved others,’ they said ‘let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.’ The soldiers mocked him too, and when they approached to offer vinegar they said, ‘If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.’ Above him there was an inscription: ‘This is the King of the Jews.’
One of the criminals hanging there abused him. ‘Are you not the Christ?’ he said. ‘Save yourself and us as well.’ But the other spoke up and rebuked him. ‘Have you no fear of God at all?’ he said. ‘You got the same sentence as he did, but in our case we deserved it: we are paying for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong. Jesus,’ he said ‘remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ ‘Indeed, I promise you,’ he replied ‘today you will be with me in paradise.’
It was now about the sixth hour (12 noon) and, with the sun eclipsed, a darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour (3 pm). The veil of the Temple was torn right down the middle; and when Jesus had cried out in a loud voice, he said, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit’ With these words he breathed his last.
When the centurion saw what had taken place, he gave praise to God and said, ‘This was a great and good man.’ And when all the people who had gathered for the spectacle saw what had happened, they went home beating their breasts.
All his friends stood at a distance; so also did the women who had accompanied him from Galilee, and they saw all this happen.
Then a member of the council arrived, an upright and virtuous man named Joseph. He had not consented to what the others had planned and carried out. He came from Arimathaea, a Jewish town, and he lived in the hope of seeing the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. He then took it down, wrapped it in a shroud and put him in a tomb which was hewn in stone in which no one had yet been laid. It was Preparation Day and the sabbath was imminent.
Meanwhile the women who had come from Galilee with Jesus were following behind. They took note of the tomb and of the position of the body.
Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments. And on the Sabbath day they rested, as the Law required.
Of course not!
The Universal Church celebrated Palm Sunday on 24 March 2013. The following are the Readings being read in the Universal Church all over the world on the same day:
The gospel being read at the procession with palms before Mass: Luke 19:28-40 (see Encouragements-214),
1st Reading: Isaiah 50:4-7 (see Encouragements-215),
Responsorial: Psalm 22:8-9,17-20,23-24 (see Encouragements-215),
2nd Reading: Philippians 2:6-11 (see Encouragements-161) &
Gospel Reading: Luke 22:14-23:56 (see Encouragements-215).
We have extracted the Homilies of Blessed Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis I based on the aforesaid Readings to share with you; so that you could similarly be encouraged:
XVI WORLD YOUTH DAY
HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER JOHN PAUL II
8 April 2001
1. "Hosanna!", "Crucify him!". The significance of the two events we are recalling at this Sunday's liturgy could be summed up in these words, probably shouted by the same crowd in the space of a few days.
With the acclamation "Blessed is he who comes!", in a burst of enthusiasm, the people of Jerusalem waved palm branches and greeted Jesus as he entered the city riding on an ass. With the words: "Crucify him!", shouted twice in a crescendo of fury, the multitude clamoured for the Roman governor to condemn the accused as he stood silently in the Praetorium.
Our celebration therefore begins with a "Hosanna!" and ends with a "Crucify him!". The palm of triumph and the cross of the Passion: this is not a contradiction; rather, it is the heart of the mystery that we want to proclaim. Jesus gave himself up voluntarily to the Passion; he was not crushed by forces greater than himself. He freely faced crucifixion and in death was triumphant.
By searching the Father's will, he realized that his "hour" had come and he accepted it with the free obedience of the Son and with infinite love for human beings: "When Jesus knew that this hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end" (John 13: 1).
Jesus' work of salvation and liberation continues down the centuries. That is why the Church, which firmly believes him to be present, even if invisibly, never tires of acclaiming him in her praise and adoration. Our assembly therefore proclaims once again: "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!".
3. The reading of the Gospel passage has set before our eyes the terrible scenes of Jesus' Passion: his physical and moral suffering, Judas' kiss, the disciples' desertion, the trial before Pilate, the insults and scorn, the condemnation, the sorrowful way, the crucifixion. Finally, the most mysterious suffering: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?". A loud cry, then death.