1.Isaiah 50:4-7
2.Philippians 2:6-11
Mark 14:1-15:47

THEME OF THE READINGS “Each one of us has got a donkey to offer to Jesus”
As we celebrate the Palm Sunday we hear Jesus sending some of the disciples to go and bring a donkey that would be used by Jesus as he headed to Jerusalem. A donkey during the days of Jesus was a very big thing. The donkey was equivalent of a car, a truck, and a tractor all in one. It was a car because people used to move around and do their shopping, a track because it was used to carry loads, a tractor because it used to pull the hoe cultivating the land. Adding to this fact that the donkey that Jesus requested had not been ridden, it means that it was still new bland donkey and of very high market value. We are told in this perspective that to give up the donkey during that time was the sacrifice of high value.
How can we compare the response of the donkey owner to that of many of the faithful in our church today? Going into deep reflection about the donkey let’s have this in our minds about using our donkeys for the service of the Lord. The donkey is an analogical expression of our giftedness and our states of being. Everybody in one way or the other has been endowed with talents and gifts from God freely; it is the call from each one of us to let these talents and gifts to be freely given back to God for a moment when He needs them for His mission. What makes some to hesitate in giving back to God what has been given them freely? The answer is clear, that’s because of being too selfish, lacking the sense of listening to the voice of God in providing what we have for our Lord Jesus. All of us have donkeys. You and I have something in our lives which if given back to God, could like the donkey, move Jesus down the road. As we celebrate the Palm Sunday let’s have this idea in our minds that each one of us has got something to contribute in accomplishing the mission God is calling us to do.
Today having heard the passion narrative, we have to bear in our minds that were no stranger to hardship, privation and suffering long before the final day of his life. Jesus having assumed our human condition as St Paul puts it “from the moment he came on earth, Jesus emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, become as human beings are” (Phil 2:6ff). He the most high suffered the hardships of the poor, and at times even not having the place to lay his head. He endured hunger and thirst and after long days surrounded by poor ones looking for food and cure, he spent whole night at prayer in the hills. Despite his compassion to all who came to him, yet he encountered oppositions, rejection and hatred from Pharisees and chief priests who plotted against his life. We are all invited to have a word of gratitude to our Lord Jesus for whatever He has done in our lives instead of revenge and hatred. King Lear once said “ How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is, to have a thankless child.”  How do we feel when being rejected, insulted, and hated by members of our own family, members who have been seeking help from us? Likewise, Jesus grieved for having been rejected by His own people he had chosen above all others.
The inner struggle of Jesus he faced in the garden, his sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground. Another bitter pill was the knowledge that one of his own circle was to betray him, and some like Peter, repeatedly denied to have known him before. We are all invited to journey with grieved, and anguished. It is the call to partake in the mystery of suffering. Do we journey and give courage with those in hard moments in their lives? Are we united with our sick brethren at homes and in Hospitals, in our context this is to re- live the memory of Jesus passion.(Memorial Passionis). Jesus Christ died almost 2000+ Years ago, yet when we recall in memory, He is still with us, and we see him on those who are grieving, those who are in agony, and those whose rights have been deprived because of their state of being. There are moments in the lives of Christians whereby the cry “My God, my God why have you forsaken me” (Mk15:34, Psalm 22), This was also a cry of Jesus when He was in agony. If it was not easy for God’s son to bear the cross, thus it is our call to give a consolation to our brothers and sisters who find it difficult to bear their daily crosses.
Looking on from a distance we realize that there is a great hostility in the passion narrative we have heard. This hostility is directed against Jesus. There is hostility from the chief priests, from roman soldiers, from those who passed by and jeered as Hung from the cross, alongside the hostility, there is those who had been close to Him, thus during this dark moments have all disappeared, example, Judas betrayed him, and Peter denied Him publicly, yet there were some people who accompanied Jesus in his darkest moment, for example the disciple whom Jesus loved much, an anonymous woman who in an extravagant gesture of love and respect anointed the head of Jesus. Then there was a centurion who looked at Jesus and from there he concluded, ‘this man was the son of God’ ( Mark 15: 39). All of these people looked at Jesus with eyes of faith and love; we learn a lesson that from looking we believe.
As we celebrate this Sunday, from the passion narrative we have heard, it is a call to each one of us to identify with those who saw Jesus with the eyes of faith and love, to be identified with those who saw the light of God in the dark moment of Jesus Passion and death. When we meditate on the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ with eyes of faith we come to the conclusion about divine infinite love that is stronger than sin, a divine light that shines in our darkness, a divine power that brings new life out of all our deaths. In this Holy week we are all invited to Journey with our Lord Jesus, we are invited to travel that journey with the eyes of the anointing woman, the centurion, Joseph of Arimathea and the group of faithful woman.

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Chapisha Maoni