The following reflection is about the Gospel at the beginning of the celebration before the blessing of the palms (branches) (Luke 19:28-40). A meditation on the gospel of the Passion will be given on Good Friday.
A day of jubilation.
A day where acclamation and recrimination compete surrounding a man coming into Jerusalem on a donkey.
With cries of joy, the crowd acclaims him as the descendant of king David.
The man’s adversaries want them to be shut up.
The scene is familiar but…
What is less familiar is Jesus’ attitude – in the past, he has been avoiding attempts to make him king (John 6:15).
And now, he accepts readily the glorious welcome that people give him – he seems to delight in it!
He does not shut up the people shouting praises but those who want to silence them.
None of the gospel texts tells us why Jesus acted in this way…
Jesus himself did not explain the reason of this unusual display of mastery –
he, himself, had arranged it having sent two of his apostles to get the donkey in the first place!
We cannot guess, or imagine, what led him to do this – whatever we think is pure fantasy.
But possibly – perhaps – Jesus could have wanted these ordinary people to know that they were right…
They were right in recognizing him as God’s messenger in their midst.
They come close to him rejoicing that God has made himself close to them…
An approximation… an intuition… an inspiration… as to what, WHO the real God is…
Could this intuition be ours… and could we delight in it as much people did on that day!