Six days before Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Laz’arus who had died was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; Martha served, and Laz’arus was one of those at table with him. Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment.
But Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, one of his disciples (he who was to betray Jesus), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” This he said, not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box he used to take what was put into it. Jesus said, “Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of my burial. The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”
When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came, not only on account of Jesus but also to see Laz’arus, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Laz’arus also to death, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.
The next day a great crowd who had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel!”
And Jesus found a young ass and sat upon it; as it is written, “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on an ass’s colt!”
His disciples did not understand this at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that this had been written of him and had been done to him.
The crowd that had been with him when he called Laz’arus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead bore witness. The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign.
1. What does “hosanna” mean? Would you say hello to one of your friends by saying hosanna? Why or why not? Why do you think the people in this Gospel say hosanna to Jesus?
2. Who is the crowd talking about when they shout: “blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord?”
3. Do your recognize this phrase from the Gospel? Where do you hear us use this saying in the liturgy? Who are we talking about when we say that in the liturgy?
4. What do we do after we sing those words?
5. What do the word “hosanna” and the phrase “blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” say about Jesus?