Week 6

Introduction

When the early Christians reflected on the life and teachings of Jesus, they did what wind surfers do: they lent back into the wind and moved forward. Recognizing the truth in the prophet Zechariah’s description of the entry of the messiah-king into Jerusalem, they recounted Jesus’ entry in like manner:  

Rejoice greatly, people of Jerusalem!

Shout for joy, people of Jerusalem!

Your king is coming to you.

He does what is right, and he saves.

He is gentle and riding on a donkey, 

on the colt of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9)

The brutality of the treatment meted out to Jesus during his Passion is more than matched by his gentleness and his faithfulness to his Father. The grace of his rule is revealed in the simple directions given to his disciples and in the humility of his actions. Indeed, if God was one of us, ….

The Gospel

When they drew near to Jerusalem, 

to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, 

Jesus sent two of his disciples, and said to them, 

‘Go into the village opposite you, 

and immediately as you enter it 

you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat; 

untie it and bring it. 

If any one says to you, 

“Why are you doing this?” say,

“The Lord has need of it 

and will send it back here immediately.”’ 

And they went away,

and found a colt tied at the door out in the open street; 

and they untied it.

And those who stood there said to them, 

‘What are you doing, untying the colt?’ 

And they told them what Jesus had said; 

and they let them go. 

And they brought the colt to Jesus, 

and threw their garments on it; 

and he sat upon it.

And many spread their garments on the road, 

and others spread leafy branches 

which they had cut from the fields. 

And those who went before 

and those who followed cried out, 

‘Hosanna!

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! 

Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is coming! 

Hosanna in the highest!’ (Mark 11:1-10)

The Enquiry 

See

  • Decide to be one of the disciples of Jesus, or one of those who welcomed him into Jerusalem. Stand back and observe yourself immersed in the event. Describe for yourself (and others, if you are in a group carrying out this enquiry), what you and others are doing. 
  • Why did Jesus choose to enter Jerusalem on a donkey? What part did you play in this event and why did you treat Jesus in this way? What were you hoping would happen because Jesus was heading into Jerusalem?
  • Go beyond this Gospel encounter with Jesus: Were your hopes and dreams realised? Did your attitude towards Jesus change? If so, why? 

Judge

  • Move into the presence and to being yourself. What do you think about all that happened in the Gospel event? How close to the truth of your experience is what you imagined to be your involvement in this part of Jesus’ life?   
  • If you had control over how the story unfolds, what would you change? Why? 
  • What does your faith tell you about Jesus being the leader that the common folk wanted? What is there in the story told in Mark’s Gospel that challenges you and how you live your faith?  

Act

  • What do you want to change that will help yourself and others to welcome Jesus into their lives and to remain faithful to him, especially in the face of suffering? 
  • What small action can you take that will contribute to bringing about this change? When and where will you carry out the action and how often? 
  • Who can you involve in your action and how, when and how often will you get them to participate in your action?

Author: Pat Branson 

Image source: Royal Griffin (Creator), Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0 DEED

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