Scripture Reading: The following Scripture passages can be read so as to help you understand the preaching and actions of Jesus during that first Holy Week, leading up to Holy Thursday evening:
Mark 11:15–19—Cleansing of the Temple
Matthew 23:13–36—Rebuke of scribes and Pharisees
Matthew 26:14–19—Plot to betray and Passover preparations are made
Context: After being welcomed into Jerusalem with such joy (and hatred by many of the religious leaders), Jesus spent the week preaching and teaching in the Temple area. Recall that He turned over the tables of the merchants, preached numerous parables and sermons, was questioned over and over by the scribes and Pharisees, and strongly rebuked them. The week continued to be a mix of emotions. Some people were hanging on Jesus’ every word; others were filled with growing hatred as the week progressed.
Reflection: After prayerfully reading the above passages, ponder this Gospel scene in the following way:
- Continue your reflection from the previous meditation on the stark contrast of emotions present.
- Why was Jesus so firm with the scribes and Pharisees?
- Use the seven “woes” in Matthew 23:13–36 as an examination of conscience. Is there any way that these rebukes of love also apply to you?
- The scribes and Pharisees were not seeking the truth but instead were trying to trap Jesus. Have you ever experienced such trickery and malice? Try to relate to Jesus.
- What was Judas thinking and feeling as he arranged the plot against Jesus?
- What was Jesus thinking as He prepared for the Passover meal with the Apostles?
Featured Image: Brooklyn Museum – Curses Against the Pharisees
Introduction to Meditations for Lent
- Life Decisions and Resolutions
- Palm Sunday
- Leading up to Holy Thursday
- Last Supper
- Agony in the Garden
- Jesus is Arrested and Brought Before Annas
- Jesus is Brought Before Caiaphas
- Jesus is Brought Before Pilate
- Jesus is Brought Before Herod
- Second Trial by Pilate
- Jesus Carries His Cross and is Crucified
- Jesus Speaks From the Cross
- Jesus Dies on the Cross
- Jesus’ Body in the Arms of His Mother
- Jesus is Buried
- Holy Saturday