Sermons and Talks

Reflection for Palm and Passion Sunday – Matthew 26:14-27:66

In lieu of our regular Sunday Sermon (due COVID-19 preventing congregational gatherings on Sunday mornings), Reverend Dr. Elizabeth Green has distributed some written thoughts on this week’s Gospel.

As we celebrate Palm Sunday, our Lenten Pilgrimage takes a great dramatic turn. Jesus enters Jerusalem with his friends in high spirits and full of hope and the crowd on his side as they welcome with shouts of joy, ‘Hosanna in the highest, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord’. This entrance is a very political one. At the time of Jesus, victorious generals with their armies returned home and entered the city in similar fashion as the crowds waved branches and shouted out their names.

No other Sunday in our liturgical calendar contains so much drama and tension as today. What begins with shouts of joy and the feeling of victory will quickly change as the same crowd a week later will shout, ‘Crucify him, crucify him’. His spectacular entrance into the city is also his entrance into his betrayal, denial, condemnation, suffering and death and ultimately his Resurrection. We are part of both crowds, and as we witness his suffering, we will also experience his Resurrection. We pray that as we enter into this most sacred of weeks with Jesus, we will be drawn closer to him and each other.

As we journey into Holy Week, we are preparing our hearts to enter into the time of Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection. It was on Palm Sunday that Jesus entered into Jerusalem. He knew that soon he would be carrying his cross to Calvary, and so he was preparing his heart for what was to come. How often do we take the time to pray and thank Jesus for everything he does for us? When we pray, it means we’re spending time with God in Christ. Jesus loves it when we spend time with him. St. Therese was someone who tried to make everything she did a prayer to God, even washing the dishes or doing the laundry. Jesus wants to be a part of your day wherever you are, and whatever you’re doing. The next time you’re doing your chores, just say a little prayer and ask Jesus to come and be with you. God in Christ Jesus wants to be part of everything you do – all that you are and all that you feel.

Questions for Reflection

What is prayer? Talking and listening to God, praising God, telling God what’s on your heart, asking God for what you need.

Who are some people that you would like to pray for this week?

Be with us, Lord, in all our prayers,
and direct our way toward the attainment of salvation,
that among the changes and chances of this mortal life,
we may always be defended by your gracious help,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

A Prayer from the Worldwide Anglican Communion

Holy and gracious God, give us strength to meet the health crisis growing in our world. Enlighten researchers that they may discover the right vaccine against CORVID-19. Bring together agencies around the world that they may work together to eradicate this health crisis. Guide the doctors and nurses and all medical staff working with those who are infected that they may be protected as they care for their patients. We pray for those who are ill or isolated because of this virus, that they may know your love and care as it comes to them through human hands. We pray also for those who have died and for the bereaved that they will know the consolation of your love. Keep us mindful of our responsibilities during this time of anxiety and enable us to do all we can in our homes, churches and communities to alleviate the risk of spreading the virus. All this we ask through Jesus Christ our Saviour.