Jesus is the one whom God has sent to bring the Good News to the poor. He endures the cross to stay true to his mission. And he wants us to be like him.
Jesus enters Jerusalem to the cheers of the crowds. They hail him “the Son of David.” They welcome him as the true heir to the throne of David. Moreover, they say to those who ask, “This is Jesus the prophet, from Nazareth in Galilee.”
But the crowds do not really know what they are saying. They do not understand. And they will prove true later their misunderstanding; they will ask for Jesus’ death.
Yes, the crowds turn against him. They cannot accept as their true King and Messiah someone who shows himself powerless before his accusers and judges. No leader should condemn him. It should be the other way around. They want someone to free them from the Romans.
So, the crowds do not see the meaning of Jesus’ coming, riding on a donkey. And they glibly call him prophet.
But no, he does not lord it over anyone. He may seem to commandeer an ass and a colt or even a house. But he has in mind to return the animals and he only wants the house for a time, for Passover. Also, God has not sent him to be served, after all, but to serve.
And Jesus means to stay true to his mission even if it entails misunderstanding, rejection and death. It comes with being a prophet (see Mt 4, 12; 14, 3-12; 23, 29-35). True, the thought of suffering and dying fills him with sorrow and distress. Still, he accepts the Father’s will. One with those who suffer, he does not come down from the cross.
Jesus wants us to be like him, true to his mission of service that he shares with us.
We say we are Christians, but the proof is not in the saying but in the following. Jesus wants us to go with him, doing good and preaching the Good News of the kingdom. We are to help the least of his brothers and sisters.
Jesus calls us, yes, to work with him in making this world better and more fit for human beings. Doing so, we will surely lose friends and make enemies, for we can hardly do anything good without conflict (SV.EN I:75). But true followers are like their Master. They are ready to empty themselves, to give their bodies up and shed their blood.
Lord Jesus, may we live like you, so that we may die like you (SV.EN I:276). Make us stay true to you even in the face of suffering and death.
5 April 2020
Palm Sunday (A)
Mt 21, 1-11; Is 50, 4-7; Phil 2, 6-11; Mt 26, 14 – 27, 66