Palm Sunday – Year B

March 17 - April 5

Gospel Lectionary Text

John 12:12-16

12:12 The next day the great crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem.

12:13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, "Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord-- the King of Israel!"

12:14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it; as it is written:

12:15 "Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion. Look, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt!"

12:16 His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written of him and had been done to him.


Welcome to Palm Sunday, Jesus’ celebrated entry into Jerusalem. What feels like a party turns out to be something of a parody. About 150 years earlier, Judas “The Hammer” Maccabeus had led the Israeli victory over the Syrian occupation. The crowds celebrated by waving palm branches.

Clearly, the crowd in this week’s text is hoping for something similar. Who can blame them? They’ve suffered unmercifully. That’s why they are shouting Hosanna, which literally means, “save us!” It doesn’t take long for Jesus to disappoint their expectations for a triumphant, hammer-like Messiah. In a few days time, shouts of “Hosanna!” will be replaced by calls to “Crucify Him!”

Of course, this is where the parody hits home for us. We all have ideas about what salvation should look like. Can we really count ourselves a part of the first cry without admitting we’re part of the second?


In what ways does Palm Sunday cause you to reconsider how you understand victory, power and salvation?


Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am
Be still and know
Be still
See the complete prayer

Word from Below Reflections

Transfer or Transform?

A week ago, a 21-year old white Christian man, baptised and active in his local church, walked into three spas near Atlanta, Georgia with a gun and killed 8 people, 6 of whom were Asian American.

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The Dark Prayer of Palm Sunday

I have a confession. Palm Sunday is confusing. It functions more like a parable than a celebration and it leaves me conflicted. The crowd that shouts “Hosanna, Hosanna” this week shouts “Crucify Him, Crucify Him” next week.

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Coming Home

This Sunday is Palm Sunday, when Jesus makes what some Christians refer to as his “Triumphal Entry” into Jerusalem on the back of a young donkey. Crowds cheered and hailed him. “Hosanna!” So there’s Jesus, fully human and fully divine – but he couldn’t have felt all that triumphant. He knew well to distrust fickle...

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Understanding the Bible anew through the Mimetic Theory of René Girard.

Weekly Homily by James Alison