Mk 11:1-10 or Jn 12:12-16
Mk 14:1—15:47 or 15:1-39
Click to view a YouTube video with preaching hints for Palm Sunday...
As the quote above indicates, the Church as the People of Life is born from the Cross. Jesus’ passion and death are his self-giving, and the power of that self-giving is given to us, that we might give ourselves to one another in serving, protecting, and celebrating the gift of life.
The preaching on Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and Easter can be the opportunity to ground the pro-life convictions of the congregation right in the heart of our Faith. In other words, being “pro-life” and defending life are not things “added on” to our faith, or optional, “extra-curricular” activities. On the contrary, the whole culmination of the liturgical year leads us to the days when Jesus, by dying, destroyed our death, and by rising, restored our life. That is why the liturgy, especially in these days, is the most appropriate place to speak about life as a gift of inestimable value.
In particular, Jesus endured the rigors of the passion – described in today’s liturgy in great detail – precisely because of how much he values human life. He did it for us. He did it because he wanted to raise human life to the heights of heaven. Through his Passion and resurrection, he does not only conquer his own death; he overturns the very kingdom of death. We cannot listen to or believe the Gospel of the Passion without marveling at how much God loves each human life, and without feeling impelled to respond when that same human life is trampled underfoot. He gave his life for us; we are to give our lives for one another.
Christ died once for all, but Calvary continues today as innocent people are killed in abortion clinics nationwide. As John Paul II wrote, “It is precisely in the "flesh" of every person that Christ continues to reveal himself and to enter into fellowship with us, so that rejection of human life, in whatever form that rejection takes, is really a rejection of Christ” (The Gospel of Life, n. 104). The Gospel of the Passion continues in our day…