Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey, and some people pave His way with palm fronds. Palm Sunday, and Holy Week begins.
This is the opening scene. People gather into Jerusalem for the Passover, and it becomes a bustling city. People come from all around, imagine New York City on New Year’s (or Saint Patrick’s Day). People come from all over. Some are the followers of Jesus, and some are unaware of the activity that surrounds Christ. Others are administrators of the city, and still others are administrators of the religious celebration. People in society come from all backgrounds. Sometimes we think we are the center of attention. We think of those placing palm fronds in front of Christ.
The gospel reminds us of those that opposed Christ, The Sanhedrin, and the Temple officials. Then there are the Romans who are on the lookout for conflict. Finally there are the disciples. There is Judas, the one who betrays Christ. There is Thomas and his doubts. There is Peter, fearful and indecisive. There are those curious, and those committed to His message. They are disciples of varying degree. Like the disciples, there are those unbaptized into His preaching. Curious perhaps? Of course the ones that reject the Lord outright, the opponents. Crowds are variable and Jesus does not ride into a uniform opinion.
Committed, curious, unsure, fearful, and hatred. As Jesus rides into Jerusalem, he embraces them all. But what is the point? This is simply a description of the event. The point is this, everyone is in that crowd. The point is that every opinion and emotion that stood in that spot that day, walks on the earth today. Every opinion and emotion that was on the roadside then, is present now.
The question becomes where do we stand, where do I stand? Who am I in the crowd? Jesus, he made himself known. He preached His gospel without duplicity. The question is who am I, where do I stand, who do I take after? Its Holy week. Palm Sunday. Now I wonder who should be my guide. To that I answer Mary, she never left his side. This is a long week, and the most important week of the year. I should be present, and a willing participant. I should place myself in that crowd, I should examine at where I stand. That’s why the palm branches were handed out, so I can take my place in the crowd and witness what’s being done for me. It’s important.
(PS: lets not forget the donkey, that creature has been mentioned by many.)