Key Text

Matthew 21:1-11

Jesus and his followers were getting close Jerusalem. Their last stop was just outside the twin townships of Bethphage and Bethany near the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of his followers into the township, saying, “As soon as you get into the main street you’ll see two donkeys tied up to a fence; a female and her awkward looking colt and has not yet even been ridden. Collect them and bring them to me. If anyone questions you, just tell them the boss needs them, and they will let you take them.”

These events again showed up the truth of what the prophet had said:
"Broadcast this to the people of Jerusalem.
Look, here comes your king!
He doesn’t big-note himself, but comes riding a simple donkey, and a baby one at that!”

So they did as Jesus had told them and brought the donkeys to him. They made improvised saddles from items of spare clothing and got Jesus seated. As Jesus began riding slowly up the road, the crowd began giving him the red-carpet treatment. Some were spreading their coats on the road before him while others were cutting down branches of leaves and flowers and spreading them along the road. Both in front of him and behind him, the cheering crowd began to chant:

Hooray for the new King David!
God’s blessing is on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hooray for God, the greatest of all!

As he arrived in Jerusalem, it was absolute mayhem. The question on everyone’s lips was “Who on earth is this?”

The answer coming from the crowd was, “This is Jesus the prophet, from Nazareth in Galilee.”

cited from Laughing Bird Liturgical Resources

 

Image of the week

March 24, 2005

Leunig
published in The Age
March 17, 2005

original link

For last week's image (17 March, 2005), click here.

 

Present Context

For Reflection

So you want to start a revolution? Want to release people who have been under oppression by a tyrant? Want to bring a new way of life and living to a whole nation? What do you need?

Maybe a huge army...

some pretty impressive firepower...

some strong allies...

some good intelligence...

Was this the way of Jesus?

There were people warning him against going into Jerusalem, fearing what would happen to him there. But he went any way.

Unarmed.

With a handful of followers, a rag-bag bunch of people without much education and questionable commitment to the task or the process.

Somewhat surprisingly, they were welcomed, and Jesus was feted. But he could not - would not - meet their expectations.

"My ways are not your ways," says the Lord

We pray: How easily we get caught up in power games, O Lord, yet this was not your way. You brought liberation through surrender, victory through sacrifice, and forgiveness by your own death.

As we enter the place of challenge, help us to do so in the spirit and power by which you entered Jerusalem that first Palm Sunday... even if the personal cost is the same for us.

Amen.