PALM SUNDAY – Year B 27th / 28th March, 2021

Every year on this Sunday the story of Jesus’ betrayal, passion and death is told at length. The reading is taken in turn from one of the synoptic gospels – Matthew, Mark or Luke because we always read John’s account on Good Friday. This year we read from Mark. No two versions of the passion narrative are the same. They have much in common but differ in the detail. It is helpful to think of each evangelist as an artist painting a portrait. Portrait painters are creative artists that are not satisfied with presenting a surface likeness; they seek to uncover a deeper truth. What they produce will appear very different, even if the subject is the same. For all the brevity of Mark’s gospel, his passion narrative is just as long as that of the other evangelists. Thus it looms larger in the overall work. In his introduction to the gospels scripture scholar Frank Moloney points out that “Mark tells the passion and death of Jesus in two coherent sequences: Jesus, the disciples and the Jewish leaders and the Roman trail, crucifixion, death and burial.