He’s A Different Kind Of King

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

Lent we have been saying these past five weeks is a time to see the face of God, to understand better who he is and how he works in our life.  Starting with Palm Sunday we, hopefully, continue to walk with Jesus this week.  Today we celebrate his triumphal entrance into Jerusalem (Mark 11: 1-11), which will end with his death and resurrection.

Everything has been arranged.  We hear Jesus tell two of his disciples to find the donkey tied up, which no one has ever sat.  A king requisitions his riding animal and never uses one that has been used before.  But Jesus is a different kind of king.  He does not ride a horse or chariot.  He rides the animal of the poor, a donkey.  He fulfills the prophesy of Zechariah (9: 9-10) who predicts the Messiah will come humble, a riding on a donkey…and will proclaim peace to the nations that stretch from sea to sea and to the limits of the earth.

Jesus brings peace because he obeys his Father, he renounces violence and willingly accepts his sufferings, which are not a mistake, and neither is yours.  Peace is not just for Jerusalem, nor just for Israel, but for all of creation, from sea to sea. Every Eucharist, every Mass can be a time of peace, a time to praise God and to thank him for what he does for us.  Pope Benedict said the goal of all creation is the Sabbath, to have a day of rest, a day, a space where we can all praise God, not just Jews and Catholics but all men and women.  This is the reason why God made all the stars and oceans and highways and skyscrapers to give him glory.  He gives us one day a week to rest, to worship and to praise him, to show our gratitude.

The other thing that stands out to me is that Jesus is meek.  This is the essence of his kingship; it should describe all Christians, including you and me.  In the passion that was read today (Mark 14: 1-15:47) Jesus does not say a word in defense of himself; he is silent, the opposite of us.  What do you say when you are falsely accused, or even rightly accused of something by your spouse or brother?  Are you silent?  Be honest.

Hosanna originally meant: please save us, help us, and later it became a praise of God.  Perhaps the first meaning is more appropriate for us.  Help me, Lord, with this problem, save me from an anxious life.  At the time of Jesus it became more a prayer of praise and a prayer of waiting for the Messiah.  In another gospel Jesus says, “Out of the mouth of babes comes a perfect praise.”  To be a little one before God is crucial to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  I need to be little, to be humble, and to be meek in order to see the Lord.  Jesus said, “Whoever receives a child receives me.”  He identifies himself as a child.  Also in the gospels, “little ones” no longer are only children, but disciples of Christ.  Christ always comes for the little ones; he comes in the humble form of bread and wine to feed us.

Let us make use of this Holy Week to enter into the passion and death of Jesus Christ, especially the Triduum of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil.  These three days are meant to reflect the passion, death and resurrection of Our Lord.  This is the greatest feast of the year when Christ passes over from a situation of fear and death and promises the same for us.