Revised Common Lectionary Commentary

Passion Sunday - Liturgy of the Passion - March 25, 2018

Introductions for Readers

Saint Dominic contemplating the Scriptures

Saint Dominic
contemplating the Scriptures

Isaiah 50:4-9a

Our passage is one of four servant songs found in Isaiah. The first begins “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen ...”. In late Judaism, the servant was seen as the perfect Israelite, one of supreme holiness, a messiah. In the gospels, Jesus identifies himself as the servant (or slave), the one who frees all people.

Philippians 2:5-11

Paul has just urged the Christians at Philippi, through “encouragement in Christ”, and moved by God’s love for them, to “be of the same mind[set], having the same love, being in full accord ...” They are to “regard others as better than ... [themselves]”, freely adopting a lowly, unassertive stance before others, replacing self-interest with concern for others.

Mark 14:1-15:47

Many pilgrims have come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. Jesus has arrived in Jerusalem on a donkey. He has criticized the greedy entrepreneurs who exchanged currency and sold animals for sacrifice, thus further angering the religious authorities.

Mark 15:1-39

It is the time of Passover. Jesus has shared the Last Supper with his disciples. He has very humanly asked the Father to allow him to simply die, but has decided to obedient to the Father’s will, God’s plan. Judas has betrayed him to the religious authorities, and Jesus has been arrested, been tried by the Sanhedrin, and been found “deserving death” for blasphemy.

© 1996-2016 Chris Haslam

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