Sunday Readings

Catholic Mass Preparation


Palm Sunday – Year A

April 2, 2023

The texts from Mt 21:1-11 and Phi 2:6-11 provide a powerful message about the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem and his ultimate sacrifice on the cross. In this article, we will explore the key points that Catholic preachers should consider when preparing a homily for Palm Sunday.

Understand the Historical Context of Palm Sunday

To prepare an effective homily, preachers should have a clear understanding of the historical context of Palm Sunday. This event took place towards the end of Christ’s ministry, where he journeyed to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover festival. He made his triumphant entry into the city riding on a donkey, a symbol of humility and peace. This act fulfilled the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9, which states, “Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey.”

Emphasize Christ’s Humility

One of the key themes of Palm Sunday is Christ’s humility. By entering Jerusalem on a donkey, Christ was demonstrating his humility and his willingness to serve the people. As Catholic preachers, we should also emphasize the importance of humility in our lives. In Philippians 2:6-8, Paul describes Christ’s humility, “he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.” Preachers should urge their congregation to follow Christ’s example by being humble and serving others.

Highlight the Significance of the Palm Branches

Another important aspect of Palm Sunday is the use of palm branches. The crowd that greeted Christ as he entered Jerusalem waved palm branches, which symbolized victory and triumph. In Catholic tradition, palm branches are blessed on Palm Sunday and distributed to the congregation. Preachers should explain the significance of the palm branches, and how they serve as a powerful symbol of Christ’s ultimate triumph over sin and death.

Reflect on the Paradox of Christ’s Triumph and Suffering

Palm Sunday presents a paradoxical message of triumph and suffering. While Christ was greeted with triumph and adulation as he entered Jerusalem, he ultimately suffered on the cross for the sins of all humanity. As Catholic preachers, we should reflect on the power of this paradox, and how it speaks to the nature of Christ’s sacrifice. In Philippians 2:8-9, Paul states, “Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth.” Preachers should reflect on the significance of this passage, and how it speaks to the majesty and power of Christ’s sacrifice.

Connect Christ’s Sacrifice to Our Lives Today

Finally, as Catholic preachers, we should connect Christ’s sacrifice to our daily lives. While Christ’s ultimate sacrifice on the cross is a powerful and transformative event, it can sometimes seem distant or abstract to modern audiences. Preachers should demonstrate how the message of Palm Sunday is relevant to our daily lives, and how Christ’s sacrifice has the power to transform us. By engaging with this message on a personal level, preachers can help their congregation understand the true significance of Palm Sunday.

In conclusion, preparing a homily for Palm Sunday can be a deeply enriching experience for Catholic preachers. By emphasizing key themes like humility, triumph, and sacrifice, preachers can present a powerful and meaningful message to their congregation. By connecting this message to our daily lives, preachers can inspire their congregation to live out Christ’s teachings and follow in his example.

Palm Sunday – Year A

April 2, 2023

National Shrine Mass

Celebrant & Homilist: Rev. Kevin Regan
Guest Choir: Saint John Paul II Seminary Choir, Washington, D.C.

*This Mass was pre-recorded on February 20, 2020 in Washington D.C., U.S.A. before the United States declared a National Emergency from the COVID-19 virus.

Featured OCP Music

Palm Sunday (A)

Entrance Procession – Palm Sunday, March 20, 2016, 9:30 a.m. Mass at Saints Simon and Jude Catholic Church in Huntington Beach, California