Sunday 2 April 2023

About Today Readings

Passion (Palm) Sunday

Isaiah 50:4-7. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? – Psalm 21(22):8-9, 17-20, 23-24. Philippians 2:6-11. Matthew 26:14 – 27:66.

The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew

Matthew tells the story of the death of Jesus in the most heartbreaking manner. One aspect that is stronger than in the other Gospels is the culture of denial which dehumanises people. Pilate washes his hands in a manner that dismisses the whole situation. When Judas tries to repent of what he has done, the chief priests and elders will have nothing to do with him. ‘What is that to us?’ they say. Even Peter’s denials are more abrupt and hard edged than elsewhere. ‘I do not know the man,’ he says three times. Matthew’s passion is not easy reading. It alone includes the incident where Jesus is blind-folded and slapped and asked to guess who hit him. This is a moment of anonymous brutality. The word blood is used more often than in Mark, Luke and John. Matthew’s Gospel calls us to be wide-eyed about what Jesus endured. Let us take time to read it quietly this week.

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