Glorious Cross March 16
Almighty and ever living God, in your tender love towards us you sent your Son to take our nature upon him, and to suffer death upon the cross; grant that we may follow the example of his great humility and share in his glorious resurrection (Opening Prayer, Palm Sunday).
Palm Sunday was the day of the triumphal entry of Jesus, the Messiah, into Jerusalem. Certainly the ambiance was festive, even imperial. The crowd expressed its adulation by shouting his most royal title: “Hosanna to the Son of David!” The spectators held palm branches as emblems of victory. They spread out the red carpet of their own cloaks on the road. The Apostles, as officials of the court, encircled him. But the Sovereign in question, look well, came riding on a donkey! How crude! And even more disconcerting, it was actually his own choice of transport! Why was he defying the customary expectations? What’s more, he implied once that his preference for a coat of arms was the “sign of Jonah.” But did he not understand that that would make his messianic person an object of ridicule: a laughable prophet vomited from the belly of a whale! What sense of identity was he communicating to the members of his Kingdom?
It is necessary for the wind to turn the ant over so that it can see the sky. (Arab Proverb)