Passion Sunday - 9th April, 2017
Liturgical ReflectionMt. 21: 1-11
The Prophet Jesus
In today’s gospel, we hear how the Jerusalem crowds proclaimed Jesus as a prophet. And what a prophet he was.
A prophet is a spokesperson for God, one who relates the message of God to the people. If so, what key messages did Jesus bring to us from God the Father? We see them in the life Jesus lived as well as in his words.
Prophet as seer is another role of the prophet – almost a secondary role, but one that is very evident in Jesus’ words. He prophesied his own death (the most painful anyone can or will suffer) and his rising from the dead was to cap off many other prophesies. Jesus is described as prophesying again on his way to be crucified, when he confronted the women of Jerusalem and foretold in his own way, the fall of the city and the destruction of the temple, which happened less than 40 years after his death in the year 70 C.E.
But the great lesson/message we glean from today is that of the humility of Christ. We first encounter his humility when he let his kinsman, John, baptize him in the Jordan. In his life on earth, he could have had any material thing he wanted, yet spent his time in the company of ordinary men and women, even sinners, living simply, as they did.
Five days before his death, we see him enter Jerusalem, riding on a donkey, with only his robes as saddle. No fancy chariot pulled by four matching Arabian horses.
Jesus is humble as always; without pride. Instead, he has love, kindness and compassion, no human vices. He proved that when he suffered and died for us on Good Friday.
The last aspect we experience is that of human uncertainty and hypocrisy. The same crowd who welcomed Jesus as a liberating hero, demanded his death by crucifixion five days later.
Today, let us examine our own conscience and ask ourselves:
Are we proud or truly humble – and how do we know?
Will we embrace the poor and downtrodden?
Will we stand up for our brothers and sisters who are maltreated?
Or just join the mob who lined the Via Dolorosa on Good Friday?
St Thomas Aquinas Chapter Wahroonga