As an Amazon affiliate, this site earns from qualifying purchases.

Palm Sunday Year C (Passion Sunday)

Sunday April 13, 2025

Mass Readings for the Palm Sunday Year C

  • Procession - Luke 19:28-40: Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey and receiving a royal welcome from the crowds who hailed him as the Messiah and King who came in the name of the Lord.
  • First ReadingIsaiah 50:4-7: The prophet's unwavering faith in God's help and faithfulness in times of struggle, even in the face of opposition and ridicule, and his determination to continue proclaiming God's message despite the challenges he faced.
  • Responsorial PsalmPsalm 22: Psalm 22 is a lamentation that expresses feelings of abandonment, isolation, and despair, yet also includes expressions of trust and hope in God's deliverance and salvation. It is a powerful prayer that resonates with many who have experienced deep suffering and pain.
  • Second ReadingPhilippians 2:6-11: This reading highlights the humility and obedience of Jesus in his sacrifice for humanity, emphasizing his willingness to empty himself and become a servant, ultimately submitting to death on the cross. The passage calls for believers to follow Jesus' example of humility and service, recognizing him as Lord and King of all.
  • Gospel - Luke 22:14—23:56: The events leading up to Jesus' crucifixion, including the Last Supper, his arrest, trial, and eventual crucifixion. The passage highlights the shame and suffering associated with this form of execution, as well as the magnitude of Jesus' love for humanity.

Themes for the Mass Readings for Palm Sunday Year C

The readings for Palm Sunday Year C (Passion Sunday) tell of the death of Jesus Christ, who showed us the true meaning of love and the nature of God. The reading for the procession of the palms recounts how Jesus was greeted by crowds while entering Jerusalem. The first reading tells how we will be saved by a servant. The psalm was quoted by Jesus from the cross. The second reading speaks of the how Jesus was obedient to the Father. And in the gospel we remember how Jesus suffered and died for each of us, so that we could know life.

  • Abandonment and feelings of isolation: The responsorial psalm for Palm Sunday Year C reflects the feeling of abandonment and isolation that Jesus experienced on the cross. This theme reminds us of the reality of suffering and the importance of acknowledging and processing our emotions in times of pain.
  • Taking the difficult path: The readings also highlight the importance of taking the difficult path, even when it is not easy. Jesus' journey to the cross was not easy, but he remained steadfast in his commitment to God's plan. This theme reminds us of the importance of perseverance and faithfulness in our own lives.
  • Suffering: The readings for Palm Sunday Year C also acknowledge the reality of suffering and the importance of embracing it as a means of growth and transformation. Jesus' suffering on the cross is a powerful reminder of the redemptive power of suffering, and how it can ultimately lead to healing and wholeness.
  • The Paschal mystery: The readings also emphasize the Paschal mystery, which is the central mystery of Christian faith that refers to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. This theme highlights the transformative power of Christ's sacrifice and its ongoing significance for us as Christians.
  • Jesus as king of our lives: The readings also remind us of the importance of making Jesus the king of our lives, submitting to his authority and following his example of humility, obedience, and sacrifice.
  • Being fickle: Finally, the readings also warn against the dangers of being fickle, as exemplified by the crowds who hailed Jesus as king during his procession but later called for his crucifixion. This theme emphasizes the importance of remaining steadfast in our faith and committed to God's plan, even when it is unpopular or difficult.

See the Homilies and Reflections section and the More Thoughts section for further expansion on these readings and some reflection questions for Palm Sunday Year C.

Share the Good News!

Resources for Palm Sunday Year C

Where Is God?

This prayer is based on Psalm 22, which is the responsorial psalm for Palm Sunday Year C. It is a prayer for when we feel like God is nowhere to be found. Psalm 22 is the psalm Jesus prayed from the cross when he quoted “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

Lent and Triduum Cryptogram Puzzle

This printable cryptogram is a fun way to introduce youth to the vocabulary for Lent and Triduum. Each word is encrypted and definitions are given. Youth must consider the definition and then decrypt the word. Use it for catechesis for Palm Sunday Year C.

Where Have You Been? (Reflection on the Passion of Jesus Christ)

Reflect on the sentencing of Jesus. It works well if one person reads the scripture and another reads the meditation. It includes a set of questions for small group discussion which could be used on Palm Sunday Year C.

Attend the Mass of the Lord’s Supper

The Mass of the Lord's Supper commemorates the last supper of Jesus Christ with his disciples, when the institution of the priesthood and the Eucharist took place.  Holy Thursday is not a holy day of obligation, but you should consider attending with your whole family.

Attend Good Friday Services

Good Friday is the Friday before Easter. On Good Friday, Catholics commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, who died to redeem us. There is no mass on Good Friday, but your local parish will hold a liturgy to remember this tremendous act of love. Attend them with your family.

Prayerfully Read the Passion of Our Lord

We are all familiar with the Passion story. We hear it every year on Palm Sunday and on Good Friday. But when we read it at Mass, we read it at the same pace as the whole congregation. So try reading it prayerfully on your own.

Lenten Ideas for Palm Sunday Year C

Do Yardwork for the Elderly in Your Neighborhood

Service projects are a type of almsgiving during Lent. One popular project with teens and younger children is yardwork for the elderly. There might be some leaves left from the fall. Or fallen branches from winter storms. Or just some spring cleanup needed. An elderly neighbor will appreciate any help you can give.

Make Jars with the Jelly Bean Prayer to Prepare for Easter

The Jelly Bean Prayer is a fun Easter prayer for your family or youth ministry. Make up some jars of jelly beans on Palm Sunday Year C to give away with the prayer during the Octave of Easter. Put them on display for the rest of Lent to remember that we are walking this Lenten journey with the hope of celebrating the resurrection of our Lord on Easter.

  • Save

See More Lenten Ideas

See specific ideas for practicing prayer, fasting, and almsgiving during the Lenten season.

Homilies and Reflections for Palm Sunday Year C

The Kingship of Christ

Bishop Robert Barron offers his reflections on Palm Sunday Year C and why the Kingship of Christ matters.

Palm Sunday

Jeff Cavins reflects on the readings for Palm Sunday Year C. We might find the readings long, but there is a reason for this. These readings recall the story that is at the center of our faith:

Passion of the Christ

A reflection for Palm Sunday Year C from Scott Hahn. "'What is written about Me is coming to fulfillment,' Jesus says in today’s Gospel (see Luke 22:37). Indeed, we have reached the climax of the liturgical year, the highest peak of salvation history, when all that has been anticipated and promised is to be fulfilled." Continue reading.

The Master Has Need of You

A homily from Bishop Robert Barron for Palm Sunday Year C. "In our Gospel reading for the Palm Sunday procession, Jesus sends his disciples into Jerusalem to prepare for his triumphal entry. They are told to untether a donkey, and if there is any protest from the owner, they are to say simply, 'The Master has need of it.' Strictly speaking, God has need of nothing, since he is the unconditioned act of existence. God doesn’t need our praise or our good works or anything. But this phrase signals the wonderful truth that God allows us to cooperate with his grace so that we can participate in the work that he wants to do. He gives us what Aquinas called 'the dignity of causality'. We are privileged to be instruments in his hands."

More Thoughts for the Palm Sunday Year C

Welcoming Jesus

The reading for the procession for Palm Sunday Year C is a powerful reminder of the importance of recognizing Jesus as our king and savior. In this passage, we see Jesus entering Jerusalem, where he is welcomed with joy and enthusiasm by the people. The crowds shout, "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!" as they lay their cloaks and palm branches on the ground before him.

This triumphant entry is symbolic of Jesus' divine authority and sovereignty over all. Just as the people of Jerusalem recognized Jesus as their king and welcomed him with open arms, we too must acknowledge his authority and welcome him into our lives and hearts.

In doing so, we must remember that following Jesus requires faith and obedience. We must submit our will to his and trust in his plan for our lives. Just as the people of Jerusalem laid down their cloaks and palm branches before Jesus, we too must be willing to surrender everything to him.

Welcoming Jesus into our lives also means recognizing his power to save us. As our savior, he offers us the gift of salvation, redemption, and eternal life. When we trust in him and follow his teachings, we are transformed by his love and grace.

Therefore, as we reflect on this passage, let us recommit ourselves to welcoming Jesus as our king and savior. May we lay down our cloaks and palm branches before him, surrendering our will to his and following him with faith and obedience. May we never forget the power of his love to transform our lives and bring us into his eternal kingdom.

Death Is Coming

As we enter into Holy Week and celebrate Palm Sunday, we are reminded of the death and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. We are reminded that death is a reality for all of us, but through Christ's death and resurrection, we have hope for eternal life with God.

In the readings for Palm Sunday Year C, we see the people divided in their opinions of Jesus. Some welcome him with open arms, while others turn away from him. We also see Peter, one of Jesus' closest disciples, deny him out of fear. The two criminals on the crosses next to Jesus also represent the struggle between the worldly and the spiritual.

But Jesus never wavers in his obedience to God. He willingly faces his death in Jerusalem and entrusts himself completely to his loving Father. Through his death, he offers us a way to cheat death and join him in eternal life with God.

As we carry our palms in celebration on this Palm Sunday, let us also remember the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. Let us strive to entrust ourselves completely to God, even in the face of our fears and doubts. Let us seek to follow Jesus' example of unwavering obedience and trust in God. May we have hope in the eternal life that Christ offers us through his death and resurrection.

Reflection Questions for Palm Sunday Year C

  • Have you identified any things in this world that may be holding your loyalty? What are they and how do they affect your relationship with God?
  • Is there an area in your life where you need to surrender more fully to God's will and trust in His plan for you? How can you cultivate greater faith and trust in Him?
  • Have you ever questioned why you cling to fear and slavery to the material world? What motivates this attachment? How can you overcome these tendencies and cultivate a deeper sense of detachment and freedom in your life?
  • In your opinion, what is the main message or lesson that we can take away from these readings as we approach Easter and reflect on Jesus' sacrifice? How can we apply this message in our own lives?
  • How can we apply the themes of humility, sacrifice, and strength in our own lives as we strive to follow Jesus' example? What practical steps can we take to grow in these virtues and become more like Christ?
  • Have you considered how the image of the procession in Luke 19:28-40 reflects the theme of peace and salvation? What does this image mean to you in terms of your own journey towards salvation?
  • When you hear the phrase "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord," what does it mean to you personally? How does it impact your relationship with God and your understanding of Jesus' role as our Savior?

Quotes and Social Media Graphics for the Palm Sunday Year C

strengthen your brothers
  • Save
Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers.
daily way of the cross
  • Save
Along the daily way of the cross, we meet the faces of so many brothers and sisters in difficulty: let us not pass by, let us allow our hearts to be moved with compassion, and let us draw near.

Frequently Asked Questions

Join our email list to receive weekly emails with Catholic reflections and more.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copy link