Put Yourself in the Passion Narrative

Put Yourself in the Passion Narrative - Bishop Barron's Sunday Sermon
Posted on 03/24/2024
Bishop Barron

Friends, we have the great privilege on Palm Sunday of reading from one of the Passion narratives, and this year, we read from the Gospel of Mark—the very first one written. But what I want to do today is something a little bit different: instead of putting the focus on Jesus, I want to focus on a series of people around him as they react in different ways to the events of the Passion, putting ourselves in the scene. Who do we identify with in this story as Jesus comes toward his death?

Watch Put Yourself in the Passion Narrative - Bishop Barron's Sunday Sermon here


Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord

Mark 14:1—15:47
Friends, on this Palm Sunday, we are privileged to become immersed in Mark’s great Passion narrative, where the kingship of Jesus emerges with great clarity—and also with great irony.

We read that upon being brought before the Sanhedrin, Jesus is asked whether he is the Messiah, an implicit reference to David. When Jesus calmly responds, “I am,” the high priest tears his robes, for how could a shackled criminal possibly be the kingly descendant of David? Upon being presented to Pilate, Jesus is asked the functionally equivalent question: “Are you the king of the Jews?” Again a calmly affirmative answer comes: “You say so.” This leads the soldiers to mock him, placing a purple cloak on his shoulders and a crown of thorns on his head.

Mark does not want us to miss the irony that, precisely as the King of the Jews and the Son of David, Jesus is implicitly king to those soldiers. For the mission of the Davidic king is the unification not only of the tribes of Israel but also of the tribes of the world. What commenced with David’s gathering of the tribes of Israel would soon reach completion in the criminal raised high on the cross, thereby drawing all people to himself.