Jesus’ Solemn entry into Jerusalem: The donkey that carried Jesus was very happy on that day. It was surprised that people gave so much of honor and respect to it. And even some cried out: Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel”. The donkey accepted all praise and honor with a smile by nodding its head. The procession was over, Jesus got down, and the donkey returned home expecting the same honor and praise on the streets of Jerusalem. But it was sad that there was no one on the street to welcome it and sing ‘the King of Israel’, some children even stoned the donkey. Soon the donkey realized that it had honor and praise only as long as it was with Jesus. Away from Jesus we lose our honor and glory. The above is the humorous part of the story.
But are we ready to become like the humble donkey that carried Jesus? As we “carry Jesus” to the world, we can expect to receive the same welcome that Jesus received on Palm Sunday, but we must also expect to meet the same opposition, crosses and trials later. Like the donkey, we are called upon to carry Christ to a world that does not know Him. Let us always remember that a Christian without Christ is a contradiction in terms. Such a one betrays the Christian message. Hence, let us become transparent Christians during this Holy Week, enabling others to see in us Jesus’ universal love, unconditional forgiveness and sacrificial service.
Can we face these questions on Palm Sunday? Are we willing to follow Jesus, not just to Church but in our daily life? Are we willing to entrust ourselves to Him even when the future is frightening or confusing, believing God has a plan? Are we willing to serve Him until that day when His plan for us on earth is fulfilled? These are the questions of Palm Sunday. Let us take a fresh look at this familiar event. We might be surprised at what we see. It could change us forever.
St. Francis de Sales tells, “I saw a while ago a girl carrying a bucket of water on her head. In the middle of the bucket she had placed a piece of wood. I wanted to know why, and she said that it was to prevent the water from moving for fear that it would spill. From that time on, I said to myself, we have to put the Cross in the middle of our hearts to stop the movements of our affections in this wood and by this wood so that they do not otherwise spill out through anxiety and disturbances of the spirit. I always have to tell you my little thoughts.” When your heart is troubled put the Cross of Jesus in the middle of your heart to find strength and courage to go forward in life without losing hope. Know that Jesus is with you in your struggle.