Project Compassion 2024: Palm Sunday

By Caritas Australia, 23 March 2024
2024 Caritas Australia Project Compassion hero Ronita's sons Egzy Grey (3) and Clark (5) in their room in Quezon City in the Philippines. Image: Richard Wainwright/Caritas Australia


Reflection for Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, Year B

Sunday Readings: Mark 11:1-10; Isaiah 50:4-7; Psalm 21(22):8-9, 17-20, 23-24; Philippins 2:6-11; Mark 14:1 – 15:47


We see images of the cross everywhere, from school uniforms to hospital buildings. Perhaps it is so commonplace that it doesn’t stop us in our tracks the way it should. The cross of Jesus is the best key we have for understanding the mystery of God’s love. God’s compassion for the human family took Jesus to a lonely and brutal execution. Jesus was the victim of appalling injustice and degradation. His experience asks us to try to make the world more just and to revere the dignity of every person. ‘Whatsoever you do to the least of my sisters and brothers, you do to me.’ This is part of the reason why Project Compassion has, for 60 years, been part of our Lenten observance.

This year, Holy Week begins with the reading of the passion story from Mark’s Gospel. Even in busy lives, we should try to set time aside to spend with this extraordinary story, not to rush it. Gently take a little at a time and ask for the grace to be close to Jesus. In the Spiritual Exercises, St Ignatius asks us ‘to consider how the divinity hides itself.’

One way to spend time with the passion story is to take a different character each week and quietly ponder what it looked like to them and what they may have felt. Here is a suggestion:

  • Sunday – Judas Iscariot
  • Monday – Simon Peter
  • Tuesday – The high priest
  • Wednesday – Pontius Pilate
  • Thursday – Simon of Cyrene
  • Friday – The centurion
  • Saturday – Mary of Magdala

Let us remember a beautiful prayer of just seven words that was taught to Pope Francis by his grandmother: Jesus, make my heart more like yours.


Lord Jesus, help us to see in your Cross all the crosses of the world:

the cross of people hungry for bread and for love;

the cross of people alone and abandoned even by their children and kin;

the cross of people thirsty for justice and for peace;

the cross of people who lack the comfort of faith;

the cross of the elderly who struggle under the weight of years and of loneliness;

the cross of migrants who find doors closed in fear and hearts armoured by political calculations;

the cross of little ones, wounded in their innocence and their purity;

the cross of humanity that wanders in the darkness of uncertainty and in the obscurity of temporary culture;

the cross of families split by betrayal, by the seductions of the evil one or by homicidal levity and selfishness;

the cross of consecrated people who tirelessly seek to bring your light into the world and feel rejected, derided and humiliated;

the cross of consecrated people who, along the way, have forgotten their first love;

the cross of your children who, while believing in you and seeking to live according to your word, find themselves marginalised and rejected even by their families and their peers;

the cross of our weaknesses, of our hypocrisy, of our betrayals, of our sins and of our many broken promises;

the cross of your Church that, faithful to your Gospel, struggles to spread your love even among the baptised themselves;

the cross of the Church, your Bride, that feels constantly assailed from within and without;

the cross of our common home that is gravely withering before our selfish eyes, blinded by greed and by power.

Lord Jesus, revive in us the hope of resurrection and of your definitive victory over all evil and all death.


You can help end poverty, promote justice, and uphold the dignity of all people by making a donation through Project Compassion boxes and envelopes, visiting or phoning 1800 024 413.

With thanks to Caritas Australia.


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