The Universal Church celebrates Sunday, March 29, 2015 as Palm Sunday. It is also known as Passion Sunday because the theme of Jesus’ suffering and death begins with the reading of the passion. In the entrance antiphon we pray: Six days before the solemn Passover the Lord came to Jerusalem, and children waving palm branches ran out to welcome him. They loudly praised the Lord: Hosanna in the highest. Blessed are you who have come to us so rich in love and mercy. Amen. The first reading, from the prophecy of Isaiah, is the third of what is usually called “the Servant Songs” of Isaiah. In it, the prophet speaks of the ‘Servant of Yahweh’ who would do the Father’s will and suffer for the sins of others. This passage blends well with Saint Mark’s passion narrative of this day, with its theme of noble and innocent suffering. Like the suffering servant in Isaiah, Christ accepts his suffering and death for the salvation of mankind. In the second reading, from the Letter to the Philippians, Saint Paul presents one of the most beautiful passages he has ever written. He explains to his converts of Philippi how Christ came from heaven, humbled himself, died for their sins and God raised him up from death on the third day. The Gospel presents Saint Mark’s passion narrative, which is a story of victory, with Christ committing into his Father’s hands the Spirit which anointed him, so that his disciples might receive the same Spirit from on high. It presents a paradox of people acclaiming Christ one day as the Son of David, singing ‘Hosanna’ to him, only to turn around a few days later and shout, ‘Crucify him! Crucify him!’ In the course of the Holy Week, let us pray to identify ourselves with the passion of our Lord so we can have a share in the glory of his resurrection.