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Lectionary Reflection

Year A, Palm Sunday
Standard (Episcopal) Lectionary – Revised Common Lectionary
Gospel Lesson

Matthew [26:36-75] 27:1-54 [55-66] (Standard Lectionary)
Matthew 26:14- 27:66 or Matthew 27-11-54 (RCL)


Reflection on Matthew 26: 36 – 27: 66
by Nan Stokes

This is Year A of the Lectionary, and we read the passion story from Matthew, who doesn't gloss over the details! All the politics and conniving are there for us to read about. Many churches assign parts to members of the congregation, and the story becomes more powerful and real when we hear those different voices. We take the part of the crowd, and can appreciate the madness as the people cried out for Barrabas and for Jesus to be crucified. Matthew adds, "His blood be on us and on our children!" After the somber observance of Lent, including the disciplines we have chosen for ourselves (whether "taking on" a special task, or "giving up" something that is important to us), we look forward to the joyful Palm Sunday procession with music and palm branches. No wonder the happiness turns to sorrow as we watch those green palms turn to the hard wood of the cross. Our hearts will be wrung by the events of the coming week! The new tomb, which belonged to Joseph of Arimathea, had been hewn in the rock – the part of the earth available to the peoples in that country. Pilate told the chief priests and the Pharisees to see to it that their guard of soldiers made the tomb as secure as they could. So they sealed the stone, and the stage is set.


needs printable page and links

Printable version

To Reflections on other Readings for Year A, Pentecost:

Reflections available at the active links
Standard (Episcopal)
Revised Common
Liturgy of the Palms    
Psalm 118: 19-29
Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
Matthew 21: 1-11
Matthew 21:1-11
Liturgy of the Word    
Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Lesson:
Isaiah 45: 21-25
Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Isaiah 50: 4-9a
Psalm 22: 1-21 or 22: 1-11
Psalm 121
New Testament Lesson
Philippians 2: 5-11
Philippians 2: 5-11
Matthew (26:36-75) 27:1-54 (55-66)
(this page)
Matthew 26:14- 27:66 or
Matthew 27: 11-54
(this page)


Nan Stokes was an active member of St. Edward's Episcopal Church, Duluth, MN, when she originally wrote this reflection in 1999. Nan and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to Nan Stokes or any MEESC member, or mail them to:

c/o C. Morello
4451 Lakeside Drive
Eveleth, MN 55743-4400 USA

The MEESC assumes that all correspondence received is for publication on this web site. If your comments are not for publication, please so note on your correspondence. The MEESC reserves the right to decide which items are included on the website.


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