Monday, April 6, 2009

Monday in Holy Week

John 12:9-19
v. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, "Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord--the King of Israel!"

All four gospels record some sort of procession of Jesus into Jerusalem with great crowds in attendance. It is no wonder that the religious and political authorities found a way to do away with him. This was a very dangerous situation. Any popular uprising needed to be crushed and crushed quickly.

In St. Simon's Chapel there hangs an icon entitled "Jesus of the People." (You can find it at It is a reminder that the Jesus movement was "of the people," the ordinary people of Galilee and Judea, attracted to this man, both his preaching and his actions. He gave them hope that the authorities over them could not give. Jesus had to know, almost from the start, that this would land him into deep (probably fatal) trouble. And certainly entering Jerusalem the way he did at the time of the Passover, when the city was full of people and the authorities were especially nervous, was akin to passing his own death sentence.

All the more reason to stand in awe of Jesus' strength and courage, the depth of his commitment to humankind, a commitment unto death. It is that commitment we remember especially this week, and renew our awe. All this was done for us, for you and for me, and the countless others through the millenia, Jesus' brothers and sisters, for wom he was willing to die.

The depth of love here is simply staggering. Can we receive it in our own depths?

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