Discussion Questions

Palm Sunday Processional
Mark 11:1-10

Did some people waving palms and shouting “Hosanna” expect the Messiah to have power and to dominate? Could some have recognized Jesus as someone who reawakened hopes, understood misery and healed their bodies and souls? Which group would you have been with?

First Reading
Isaiah 50:4-7

F1. We see Jesus as the subject of this reading. Could it apply to others too? Name some people who have spoken on God’s behalf and have “set their faces like flint” when confronted by injustice. What injustice do you feel strongly about? What can you do to help make it right? 

F2.  “Morning after morning he opens my ear that I may hear.” St. Ignatius experienced extended “communications from God.” But he also learned to distinguish between those from God and those from elsewhere. Have you ever made a retreat and begun to learn such distinctions?

Second Reading
Philippians 2:6-11

S1. “Agape” love is selfless and free from self-concern and self-preoccupation. It includes conversion, vulnerability, search for justice, and suffering. Explain Jesus’ love for us in terms of agape. How does it help redeem the world? 

S2. Discuss Javier Melloni, SJ’s statement: “The will of God is the divinization of every creature; and it was to bring about this divinization that the one who was in God and who was God, emptied himself in order to participate in our human condition and transform it from within.” Can you agree with such a statement?


The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark
Mark 14:1-15:47 or 15:1-39

G1. The woman in this passion reading was “wasting” expensive perfumed oil on Jesus. Does this relate to God’s self-wasting love on humankind? How is the Eucharist a continuation of Christ’s self-giving love for us? Does your busy schedule allow time to “waste” on love?

G2. When Pope Francis listened to how the disciples fell asleep during Jesus’ most crucial moments, he asked himself certain questions:

Has my life fallen asleep? Am I like Pilate? When I see that the situation is difficult, do I wash my hands and dodge my responsibility … ?

Pope Francis, 
Celebration of Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord,
April 13, 2014

Anne Osdieck

**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson