Sunday Evenings
Catholic Eucharist 5.00pm
POC Chaplain Ph: 021 243 0205

 Sunday Masses  5 p.m.

 

PALM (PASSION) SUNDAY (A) - April 13, 2014

Procession Gospel: Matthew 21: 1-11

Isaiah 50: 4-7; Psalm 22; Philippians 2: 6-11; Matthew 26: 14-- 27:66

From today’s Gospel reading:

Then Jesus took a cup, gave thanks and gave it to them, saying,

"Drink from it, all of you,

for this is my blood of the covenant,

which will be shed on behalf of many

for the forgiveness of sins."

 

 

 

 "Then he took a cup, gave thanks and gave it to them saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which shall be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.’"

A third of Matthew’s gospel is dedicated to the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus (16:21-28:20). There are several themes that distinguish Matthew’s version of the passion and resurrection. For example, in Matthew Jesus has control of the last events of his life. He knows what is to befall him, yet he will not use his powers to change things (26:53). Matthew makes it clear that Jesus freely embraces the way of the cross (26:37-38). Jesus isn’t looking to be a martyr for its own sake. Rather, he accepts the "cup" of suffering as the will of God. He will "drink" it. Drinking the cup means submitting to betrayal, abandonment, suffering and death. For our sake Jesus will drink the cup before him.

Jesus employed the symbolism of the Passover feast to say something to his disciples about what he was about to do and how he wanted them to respond. From their tradition they knew the Passover was a commemoration of their deliverance from slavery. At this meal with Jesus the disciples would come to know that he was their deliverance from the slavery of sin. God had guided the Israelites to safety; now Jesus, despite their current difficulties, would guide them to the safety of the "kingdom of my Father."

Jesus didn’t see his arrest and death as the end of his mission. Even at the lowest point in the story Jesus is looking forward in hope to the new kingdom with the Father. To drink from the cup Jesus offers, establishes and renews our covenant with God and the promise that the covenant holds for us.

The "cup" appears in various ways in biblical texts. For example, Jeremiah has "the cup of comfort" (16:7). In the Psalms a cup of thanksgiving is drunk after receiving a favor (Psalm 16:13). The head of the household fills the cup of guests and so a cup can represent one’s allotted portion (Mt 20:22). There is a cup of wrath which causes one to stagger (Psalm 75:9). This, and so much more, comes with the cup symbol. (Cf. John L. McKenzie,, SJ, "Dictionary of the Bible." New York, Bruce Publishing, 1965)

In Mark’s gospel (14:22) we are told, "and all drank from it." But in Matthew, Jesus gives the command, "Drink from it all of you." Again Matthew shows Jesus in command of the events. He is inviting us to share in his fate. It is the "blood of the covenant" (Exodus 24:8) – a reminder of Moses sealing the covenant with God and sprinkling animal blood on the people. Now the blood "will be shed on behalf of many." God’s Servant is going to suffer and he accepts the cup for our sake. The focus is on what Jesus has been doing and continues to do– forgive sins (1:21; 6:12; 9:6). Will we accept this cup too – Matthew adds: "for the forgiveness of sins."

Drinking the cup also reminds us that there will be a future time when, with Jesus and one another, we will drink "the fruit of the vine" at the banquet in the kingdom. Until then, "from now on," Jesus must suffer. Things will be complete, someday; but not yet. So, we drink the cup to remember Christ’s suffering and promise of a future fulfillment.

The setting is a Passover meal; a meal shared by family and loved ones. Jesus ate many meals with friends, sinners and outcasts, and this is his last meal with his disciples. When Jesus ate with others a bond was created with those at table with him. We should not feel shy or less as we gather at table. We reach out to drink the cup, not because we are perfect disciples, but needy ones. We want to lead the life Jesus has invited us to, but we need help. So, we drink from the cup of the blood Jesus shed for us – for forgiveness and healing.

At this meal we are reminded of the bond that exists between us and Christ. The meal keeps the bond unbreakable. God will certainly not break it. If we should, then we remember the cup, blood poured out for the forgiveness of sin. Forgiveness given – we drink again.

Jesus is the faithful one in the story: certainly not the traitorous Judas and the overconfident Peter. Jesus expresses his fidelity by taking and drinking from the cup. We come forward to take the drink that expresses our desire to follow Jesus’ way, whatever the cost. We take the cup that enables us to live out the desire we have to be disciples of Christ – in act, as well as desire.

How many times and for what occasions have we raised a "cup of wine" and said words? ....After a funeral our words celebrate the deceased and we console one another over our loss; at a wedding when a parent, or member of the wedding party, toasts the newly married with words about the joys and sacrifices that lie ahead; at the news of the birth of a child, or a graduation from college or high school; on New Year’s Eve as we bid the old year goodbye and hope for the best in the new year; over a special meal when we propose marriage; to celebrate the return of a son or daughter from the war zone, etc.

The "cup" we share says so much about thanksgiving, relief, joy, hope, community and, of course, sacrifice. We are no strangers to any of the above. Even if it hasn’t been our usual custom – when we receive communion today, conscious of our human need to celebrate and the reality of the sacrifices discipleship requires, we take and drink from the cup, as we remember and hope...

 
The purpose of the first part of Lent is to bring us to compunction. "Compunction" is etymologically related to the verb "to puncture" and suggests the deflation of our inflated egos, a challenge to any self-deceit about the quality of our lives as disciples of Jesus.

----Mark Searle, in :"Assembly," volume 8, no. 3

 

 

"He humbled himself"

Philippians 2: 8

On this Palm Sunday, let us meditate on Jesus in his humanity and the love he shed for us. The following poem was written by peace activist, Joshua "Jojo" White, when he was eleven years old. "Joshua" is the Hebrew name for Jesus and I can hear a very human little boy named Jesus speaking its words.

  • "If I could change the world I’d dismantle all the bombs
  • If I could change the world I’d feed all the hungry
  • If I could change the world I would shelter all the homeless
  • If I could change the world I would make all people free
  • I cannot dismantle all the bombs
  • I cannot feed all the hungry
  • I cannot shelter all the homeless
  • I cannot make all people free
  • I cannot because there is only one of me.
  • When I have grown and I am strong
  • I will find many more of me.
  • We will dismantle all the bombs
  • We will feed the hungry
  • We will shelter all the homeless
  • We will make all the people free.
  • We will change the world.
  • Me and my friends
  • all together, together at last."

I

Reflection:

Drinking the cup reminds us that there will be a future time when, with Jesus and one another, we will drink "the fruit of the vine" at the banquet in the kingdom. Things will be complete, someday; but not yet. So, we drink the cup to remember Christ’s suffering and promise of a future fulfillment.

So we ask ourselves:

  • What is the "cup" of discipleship we are asked to drink from at this point in our lives?
  • What sacrifices does drinking from this cup ask of us?

 

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


  

 

Produced by Pete Smithies Media | Contact Us

Waiouru Contact Us Tussock Times Tel Numbers About Cafes Facilities Community DSS Housing Firewood Facilities Community Firewood Emergencies Distances Miscellaneous Accommodation Businesses Education Sports Clubs Sports Facilities Marae Map