As Jesus, his disciples and followers draw closer to Jerusalem, the centre of economic and religious life, Jesus includes his disciples in his preparations for his entry into the city. They are directed where to find the donkey and its colt and how to reply to any questioners. In contrast to images of a triumphal military or kingly take-over of the city, Jesus is portrayed as coming in both humility and in peace, seated on a donkey.
Yet as the news spreads that this now famous miracle worker and teacher, Jesus, is coming to Jerusalem, the city is described as being in turmoil. With expectations of some kind of nationalistic attack on Rome high, the danger to Jesus and his disciples is acute, as to proclaim him a King would bring down the wrath of Rome. Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem, though a symbol of peace and humility, will go on to provoke escalating conflict, soon leading to his arrest and execution.
On this Palm Sunday, we stand once again on the brink of the most sombre and holy week in the Christian calendar. Today we draw near to Jesus and share in his Paschal mystery. This week we can choose to run from the horror and the violence of a good man put to death, as did most of his disciples, or we can choose to stay, to reflect and to let our own hearts be stirred by the story of the Passion. May this Holy Week deepen your faith and love of Jesus the Christ as we together share his sufferings, that we may together truly celebrate the joy and living power of the resurrection at the dawn of Easter Day.
Gospel Reading: Luke 23:1-49