Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on March 24, 2013

800px-Zirl_Parrish_Church-Jesus_entering_Jerusalem_1Gospel reading of the day:

Luke 19:28-40

Jesus proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem. As he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples. He said, “Go into the village opposite you, and as you enter it you will find a colt tethered on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here. And if anyone should ask you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you will answer, ‘The Master has need of it.’” So those who had been sent went off and found everything just as he had told them. And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying this colt?” They answered, “The Master has need of it.” So they brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks over the colt, and helped Jesus to mount. As he rode along, the people were spreading their cloaks on the road; and now as he was approaching the slope of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of his disciples began to praise God aloud with joy for all the mighty deeds they had seen. They proclaimed: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He said in reply, “I tell you, if they keep silent, the stones will cry out!”

Reflection on the gospel reading: What we recall today is Jesus’ point of no return. The gospel passage suggests, in its recollection that Jesus predicts where the disciples will find a colt and its inference of the Hebrew scriptures’ predictions that the messiah will ride into Jerusalem on the colt of an ass, that Jesus knows exactly what he is doing. What Jesus does on Palm Sunday is the point of no return. Riding on the donkey into Jerusalem is a radical statement by Jesus about who he is: not just that he is the longed-for messiah but that the messiah is not what we at all expected.

As Jesus enters Jerusalem on the colt, his disciples sing his praises using verse from Psalm 118. When the Pharisees see and hear what is happening, they are aghast and want to put an end to it. They tell Jesus to tell his disciples to stop it. But Jesus will have none of it. He explains to the Pharisees that what is happening is so fundamental, riven so deeply into the nature of reality, that were the disciples to stop their acclamations, the stones themselves will take up the cry.

With Palm Sunday, we stand at the bridge between the rest of the year and holy week. Over the next few days we enter into the events that make us Christian–the events with which there would be no Christianity.

Spiritual reading: When Jesus bids a man come, he bids him come and die. (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian whom the Nazis executed)

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