Palm Sunday 2019

Christ's entry into Jerusalem: 1304-06
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua
Christ’s entry into Jerusalem: 1304-06 by Giotto
Fresco in the Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua

Throughout Holy Week we must decide where we stand: with Christ, or against him. On Palm Sunday the choice is critical. Are we ready to follow Jesus in his triumphal procession, knowing that the hosannas we sing today will soon turn into cries of ‘crucify him, crucify him!’ or do we want to play safe, keep all our options open or use any of the weasel words we employ to mask our cowardice and indecision? Even those of us among the crowd of onlookers must make our choice: are we for him, or against him?

There is a third choice, though it is not an obvious one. We can be the donkey that carries the Lord into Jersusalem, the Christ-bearer. We became Christ-bearers when we were baptized but we often ignore or undervalue what that means. To carry Christ, to take him where he wills to go, is no mean task, no mean feat. It is the glory of the disciple to do exactly that. This morning perhaps we could all reflect on what it means to be the Lord’s donkey, not just today but every day of our lives.


11 thoughts on “Palm Sunday 2019”

  1. Oh yes!. In imaginative meditation around advent I placed myself with the holy family as they traveled on and on and on. I found I was the flea on the donkey!! One can be carried AND carry methinks..

  2. Dear Sister Catherine

    Thank you for this. I haven’t thought about being the donkey” to carry Christ to take him where he wills to go”. This morning I went to my local church ( I had wanted to go to a Palm Sunday elsewhere) however thought I should go to my church, we had a no show Vicar ( therefore no Eucharist) – .The churchwarden did an admirable job and we were worshipping together and read the passion story,Rightly or wrongly I. did wish I had gone to the other service. Perhaps I was a donkey. Also last year you said something about you have the Easter Christ wants you to have,- hmmmm

  3. If I’m not wrong, the donkey was the animal that carried kings in time of peace (while the horse in time of war). So in this case, in my opinion, “to bear” means “to be an instrument of peace”

  4. Oh yes, a lovely picture! From the moment when the donkey is untied=freed because the Lord has need of him. Just to be needed. We love when we are needed.

  5. I was reading this, when I thought about my spouse.

    She has been a supporter of the Donkey Sanctuary’s plural, because there is more than one, for over forty years. Her first job on leaving school was as a groom in a Stable, which had horses and donkeys. She has loved both ever since, but somehow, the humble Donkey, used as a beast of burden in so many countries outside the UK, where they don’t have the sorts of protections they enjoy in the UK.

    I recall our visit to one such sanctuary in the Uk, and the immediate affinity she had for the animals, who seemed to sense it as well, and responded to her so well.

    Perhaps the Colt that bore our Lord on that journey into the Palms, the last supper was chosen by our Lord, because of the signal that it sends to us of humility, but to me it sends a message of the noble service of that Colt at that time, and points clearly as your post gives us that humble service to others and to the Lord Jesus is something we all can take on willingly or ignore in selfish self regard, because it is too hard for us to contemplate, given that sharing Jesus’ destination is to hard to contemplate.

    Perhaps being the Lord’s Donkey seems the choice that I have made, just hope and pray it is in the right direction.

  6. Always struck by the humility of the entry into Jerusalem ,He could have come in a blaze of glory some expected of the messiah !
    He came on the humble donkey .. knowing what was to come .
    It is the humility, that always challenges . The washing of the disciples feet also when has knew that betrayal and denial would follow .
    Am I His donkey . Oh for the privilege !

  7. My Pastor’s homily had a similar message, he stated we all are one with those spreading palms and singing praises of Hosanna in prayer and attending Mass and at the same time shouting crucify him when we deliberately act against his will and sin. And asked us to keep conscious of this and to always remember the reason for his Passion is our sin and to be thankful for such a God. I am just amazed of the freedom He gives and in return the obedience he asks, just gives more freedom and peace.

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