Sunday Gospel reflections: Active spectators

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, Year A

‘Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test.’ (Matthew 26:41)

We are beginning the most spiritually moving and powerful week of the Church year. To me, this week has always felt different. During the rest of the year, we are fully engaged in the Christian message. But this week, I feel like a spectator, albeit an “active” one.

I am conscious that this is not our week; it is Jesus’ week. This is not our work; it is his. And see also how poorly we humans are responding. Judas betrays him; Peter denies him; and the crowd yells, “Crucify him.” But Jesus trudges faithfully forward, in resolute fulfillment of his destiny. 

You and I can only watch, marvel, and feel the moving power of these incredible days. We are “active spectators.” As the Scriptures tell us, “By the Lord has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes” (Psalm 118:23).

  — Msgr. Stephen J. Rossetti


At the Procession with Palms: Matthew 21:1-11

Isaiah 50:4-7

Psalm 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24

Philippians 2:6-11

Matthew 26:14—27:66 or 27:11-54

“Christ before Caiaphas,” by Matthias Stom, early 1630s. Photo: Public Domain

EDITOR’S NOTE: During the COVID-19 outbreak, Catholic Digest is offering daily Gospel reflections from our sister publication, Living With Christ. Additional resources from our parent company, Bayard, Inc., are available here:

Free online Catholic resources to use at home during COVID-19 outbreak

Holy WeekJesusLiving with ChristMatthew 21:1-11Matthew 26:14—27:66Msgr. Stephen J. RossettiPalm Sunday of the Passion of the LordSunday Gospel Reflections
Comments (0)
Add Comment