Gospel Jn 12: 12-16
“Then they remembered that this had been written of him and had been done to him…”
Imagine having been there, on that first Palm Sunday. Here was this man Jesus, whom so many had either met or had at least heard about.
Rumours of his otherworldliness would have no doubt circulated as he wandered from town to town over the preceding three years. In stark contrast to the other teachers and preachers of his day, Jesus taught with authority, healed the sick, ate and conversed with public sinners and cast out demons.
What strikes us about this man, despite his obvious greatness, is his absolute lack of pride. Coming amongst us, first as an embryo in the womb of the Virgin, then as a child in the stable of Bethlehem, now as he enters Jerusalem, riding on a donkey.
Here is the challenge that Jesus presents to us.
To quote the Italian theologian, Fr Luigi Giussani, ‘While he calls himself ‘master’ and asks to be followed, one can recognize and go with him or decide not to, and there is still room for mere indifference. But when his proposal clearly claims to enter the dominion of our freedom, he is either accepted and it becomes love, or rejected and it becomes hostility.’ (At the Origin, p. 65)
Jesus, while respecting our freedom, is a presence, a fact in history, which demands of us a response.
Will we be like those who had heard of Jesus, and were ready to greet him as he entered Jerusalem, shouting with the people, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”
Or, will we be like those who only days later found his presence and the claims which he had made, and indeed continues to make, a nuisance?
Let us ask the Lord for the grace to recognise Him in whatever form he comes to us, and to receive him
in openness and charity.
Point to Ponder
Jesus said, ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God’
As we enter into this most holy of weeks, the events of Good Friday loom large in our minds. Let us ask the Lord to purify the eyes of our heart so that we will recognise him in the humble garb with which he clothes himself: in the sick; in the poor; in those imprisoned; and, in all those who suffer.
Let us welcome him as those who welcomed Our Lord upon his entry into Jerusalem.
And let us seek his forgiveness for the times when we have shut him out, and reacted with hostility to his message of mercy