by Fr Martin McCormack s.d.b. MA.LPC
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In the old liturgy, before Vatican II, the reading of the Passion was greeted with total silence. There was no homily. Even the concluding acclamation: “This is the gospel of the Lord” was omitted. On a day like this, I sometimes feel that the most eloquent response to the word of God we have proclaimed is silence. So a short reflection.
This morning we celebrate and dramatise the beginning of Holy Week called the Triumphal Entry of Jesus in Jerusalem or popularly known as the Palm Sunday. The disciples and the crowd hailed Jesus as king who comes in the name of the Lord. The scene has a celebratory atmosphere with people shouting: “Hosanna!” or hail to the king. But they were somehow frustrated of this expectation in Jesus as the Messiah who will liberate them from the bondage of slavery.
Instead of Jesus riding on a horse which symbolises physical force and victory in a battle, he was riding on a donkey which symbolises humble service, a symbol of peace. In other words, by riding on a donkey, Jesus is bringing forth a message of peace that comes from God to His people. In this scene Jesus is the centre of attention. As the people of God we to be a people of service.
Max Lucado reminds us that each of us has got a donkey that the Lord needs. Here is his reflection on using our donkey for the service of the Lord:
All of us have a donkey. You and I each have something in our lives, which, if given back to God, could, like the donkey, move Jesus and his story further down the road.. Your gifts are his and the donkey was his. The original wording of the instructions Jesus gave to his disciples is proof: “If anyone asks you why you are taking the donkey, you are to say, ‘Its Lord is in need.'”
So, what is the name of your donkey? The Lord has need of it.