St Therese of Lisieux

St Norbert's
Catholic Primary School

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6th Sunday of Lent

Palm Sunday

Today is the 6th Sunday of Lent. It is also known as ‘Palm Sunday’, because today we celebrate Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, and the crowds welcoming Him by waving palm branches and shouting ‘Hosanna’!

In normal circumstances, if you went to church today you’d likely be given a palm to help you remember this day, and perhaps even to wave during worship as a sign of welcoming Jesus into your heart, like the crowds welcomed Him into the city.

Opening prayer: God of joy, we welcome you into our lives as the people of Jerusalem welcomed Jesus, with respect, love and happiness. Help us to remember that you are in all people and to try to make them feel welcome. Amen.

Gospel: Matthew 21:1-11

As Jesus and his disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to Bethphage at the Mount of Olives. There Jesus sent two of the disciples on ahead with these instructions: “Go to the village there ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied up with her colt beside her. Untie them and bring them to me. And if anyone says anything, tell him, ‘The Master needs them’; and then he will let them go at once.”

This happened in order to make what the prophet had said come true:

“Tell the city of Zion,
    Look, your king is coming to you!
He is humble and rides on a donkey
    and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

So the disciples went and did what Jesus had told them to do: they brought the donkey and the colt, threw their cloaks over them, and Jesus got on.A large crowd of people spread their cloaks on the road while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds walking in front of Jesus and those walking behind began to shout, “Praise to David's Son! God bless him who comes in the name of the Lord! Praise be to God!”

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was thrown into an uproar. “Who is he?” the people asked.

“This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee,” the crowds answered.

Our Gospel Reflection: In the gospel reading we hear how Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey. The donkey was a very humble animal – not very special for such an important person like Jesus. Why do you think he chose a donkey?

All of the people were so happy to see Jesus that they laid their cloaks on the floor and cut branches from palm trees to lay before him to show their respect. This is why today is called Palm Sunday. They shouted to show their joy and praise for God.

Think again about what it would be like if Jesus arrived here today. What would you do to welcome Jesus if he arrived here today?

God made all of us, no matter where in the world that we come from. Jesus is in all of us. So every time we meet someone and we welcome them, we are welcoming Jesus. Jesus is in all people, so we should treat all people with the respect, love and kindness that we would show to Jesus. We should try to welcome all people into our lives and treat them as we would like to be treated.

Have you ever been welcomed by others? What did they do to make you feel special and welcome?

Prayers of Intercessions:

As our church buildings lie empty this weekend, we’re reminded of those people who are never able to go to a church building because their community is too poor to have one, or it’s been destroyed by war, or they’re not allowed to hold or celebrate their faith.

We thank you that your Church isn’t limited to any building: we are a family, brothers and sisters around the world who are all your beloved children.

Lord, in your mercy…

We pray for our world. As the coronavirus continues to spread around the world, we see world leaders facing this challenge in different ways. We are starting to hear about global shortages of protective equipment, ventilators, hospital facilities and staff to combat the coronavirus.

Father God, we ask that you would bring together industries, world leaders and health services around the world to put aside their differences and work together to protect the vulnerable.

Lord, in your mercy…

We pray for those who are suffering and in need. For those who are worried about money because their work has been affected. For those on the frontline in the NHS, risking their own safety for the benefit of others. For those who are severely ill and facing their illness alone to prevent further spread of the virus.

Father God, help these people to know your comfort and peace at this time, and give us the courage to reach out and help where we can.

Lord, in your mercy…

Closing prayer:

God of truth, we thank you for sending us your Son Jesus. Open our hearts so that we may see him in other people and do what we can to make the world a fairer place. Amen.

Mission:

At this time when we’re not meeting up with others, we can’t welcome them as we normally would. But let’s think about how we can still show our love for others and spread some joy, even when we can’t meet them in person.