Palm Sunday: Luke 19:28-40
Jesus chooses to make his entrance into Jerusalem on a donkey, which was the mount used by important people. The ease with which the owner of the donkey allows the animal to be taken seems to imply that he was a follower of Christ and responded to the needs of “the Master” very happily and easily.
The joy of the people contrasts very strongly with the attitude of the leaders of the Jews that has been the subject of our last few days. It happen that you might feel content at the respect the people show for Him. It is His last show of freedom before he allows Himself to be arrested. From now till His ressurection we follow Him in Holy Week, noticing how the divinity hides itself. Passover is still celebrated by Jews to this day.
Celebrated in synagogues, and most particularly in homes, where their salvation from slavery in Egypt is remembered and re-told: The hardship of oppression. The calling of Moses to lead us to freedom and to a promised land, a land flowing with milk and honey. The repeated agreement – and then reneging – of the Pharaoh, until the tenth and final and most deadly of the plagues – the angel of death that killed all first born males – except for the homes where we had used the blood of a lamb to mark our door posts – those homes were passed over. The hurried preparations to be ready to flee – no time for leavened bread. The flight from Egypt pursued by the Egyptian soldiers. The miraculous parting of the Red Sea to allow us to pass through, but drowning the pursuing soldiers. The hardship of the 40 years wandering in the wilderness. The giving of the 10 Commandments – now that we are free, how shall live? What does the Lord require of us?
And then as now, remembering that the journey from oppression to freedom, from corruption to purity, from unjust violence to non-violent justice, has not been completed. Leave the door ajar and an empty chair at the table for Elijah! When Elijah comes the Messiah is on his way. And when the Messiah comes, finally the will of God will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Listen to their shouts: Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!