Palm Sunday Reflection, 2018


When I was studying the Palm Sunday story as told in the Gospel of Mark, I noticed that the only words spoken by Jesus were those instructing his disciples to secure a colt on which he would ride. During the procession itself and upon his arrival in Jerusalem, Jesus says nothing. Thinking about his silence sparked the following reflection.

The crowd is excited,
“Hosanna, Lord, Hosanna!”

But the man at the center of the commotion is silent.
He sits still,
making no motion,
flashing no victory sign,
waving no arm to the crowd.
He rides on in silence,
eyes set on what lies ahead.

This is not a man who plays the crowd.
This is not a man seeking exaltation.
This is not a man needing praise.

This is a man who has come to serve,
to stand with and for the poor,
to feed the hungry,
to heal the sick,
to give life to the dying.

This is a man who seeks to shape a world
in which wealth is shared evenly,
in which no one lacks necessities,
in which everyone has enough.

This is a man who calls
for weapons to be set aside,
for love, not violence, to rule.

And this is a man who is aware that powerful people want no part of the world he seeks to create.
They would rather see him dead
than lose their wealth and control.
They would rather see him dead
than lose their power and status.

The man knows this.
And yet, he continues his approach to the city knowing that the coming days are fraught with danger.
He is not distracted by the shouting, the cheering, and the noise.
He is on a mission:
to bring life to the world,
a life of shared community,
a life of equal partnership,
a life of peace and non-violence.

This man is Jesus of Nazareth,
Son of God,
Messiah of Israel,
Savior of the world.

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