You have been blessed to see much, but have understood so very little of what Jesus has said, especially of late. To the people on the side of the road you are some person with Jesus; you decide to take this opportunity to seek greater understanding of what will happen this week.
Certain that Jesus had said he was coming to Jerusalem to die, you ask.
“Why are you entering Jerusalem like a king?”
Jesus tells you that he is fulfilling prophesy and that he is the greatest king who ever lived. Every king before and after derive their kingship from him.
“Why not ride a powerful horse?”
“I am a king unlike any other, with my father I can raise the dead, heal the sick and feed the hungry. Yet the greatest service I will render the world is to humbly obey the will of my Father for the world’s salvation. The only greater act of love will occur one week from today.”
Confused, you seek clarification.
“I cannot at this time make things more clear,” replies Jesus. “I need you to stand with me all this week as others betray, deny and abandon me.”
“Why choose me?”
“I have chosen you to witness all I will endure and in time you will gain understanding so that you can share what you see with the world.”
“I am a simple, uneducated person. What do I have to give the world?”
“Trust me. I will give you what you need to fulfill the mission I have given you.”
“I am so afraid, so small, so insignificant. Why can’t you tell them?”
Jesus smiles at you. “I have been telling them and even showing them how much I love them. Now I must show my great love by dying a humiliating, public death.”
“Why must you die to save us? There must be another way.”
“I have preached that my followers must do the will of my heavenly father. His will is that I drink this cup and endure this suffering. I will also ask many to die in my name. I must first show them how, and that they have nothing to fear. Suffering and even death will not have the last word. My father’s love, my love will conquer even death. Finally, my father created man in his image so that he could love them. The only response man can make to that gift is to love my father in return with humility and obedience. Over the next few days I will show the world what it means to be humble and obedient.”
“I am afraid I will fail, I fear I will let you down.”
“Just be faithful, humble and obedient. My father and I will do the rest.”
Deacon Gerard Christianson is in formation for the priesthood at The St. Paul Seminary for the Diocese of Rockford, Ill. His home parish is St. Paul of the Cross in Park Ridge, Ill., and his teaching parish is Our Lady of Grace in Edina.
Sunday, April 1
• Mark 11:1-10
• Isaiah 50:4-7
• Philippians 2:6-11
• Mark 14:1 — 15:47
What mission is Jesus asking you to fulfill, and are you willing to accept it?