Revised Common Lectionary Commentary

Passion Sunday - Liturgy of the Passion - March 20, 2016

Introductions for Readers

Saint Dominic contemplating the Scriptures

Saint Dominic
contemplating the Scriptures

Isaiah 50:4-9a

Our passage is one of four servant songs found in Isaiah. The first begins “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen ...”. In late Judaism, the servant was seen as the perfect Israelite, one of supreme holiness, a messiah. In the gospels, Jesus identifies himself as the servant (or slave), the one who frees all people.

Philippians 2:5-11

Paul has just urged the Christians at Philippi, through “encouragement in Christ”, and moved by God’s love for them, to “be of the same mind[set], having the same love, being in full accord ...” They are to “regard others as better than ... [themselves]”, freely adopting a lowly, unassertive stance before others, replacing self-interest with concern for others.

Luke 22:14-23:56

Jesus and his disciples are gathered in a room on the second floor of a house in Jerusalem. All the preparations are as Jesus has told them, so they are confident that what he now promises will really happen. Jesus prepares them for their mission.

Luke 23:1-49

Jesus and his disciples have met for the Last Supper. He has given his farewell address to those present (and, it seems, to other followers), preparing them for their role in his mission. He has resisted the temptation to avoid death on the cross. Judas has betrayed him to the authorities. Jesus has been brought before the high priest. Next morning, he has been brought before the Sanhedrin. This council considers that it has sufficient evidence to bring him before the Roman authorities.

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