8, 2001 - Palm Sunday
After saying these things ["Risk your life....], Jesus headed straight up to Jerusalem. When he got near Bethphage and Bethany at the mountain called Olives, he sent off two of the disciples with instructions: "Go to the village across from you. As soon as you enter, you'll find a colt tethered, one that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it. If anyone says anything, asks, 'What are you doing?' say, 'His Master needs him.'"
The two left and found it just as he said. As they were untying the colt, its owners said, " what are you doing untying the colt?"
They said, "His Master needs him."
They brought the colt to Jesus. Then, throwing their coats on its back, they helped Jesus get on. As he rode, the people gave him a grand welcome, throwing their coats on the street.
Right at the crest, where Mount Olives begins it descent, the whole crowd of disciples burst into enthusiastic praise over all the mighty works they had witnessed:
"Blessed he who comes,
the king in God's name!
All's well in heaven!
Glory in the high places!"
Some Pharisees from the crowd told him, "Teacher, get your disciples under control!"
But he said, "If they kept quiet, the stones would do it for them, shouting praise."
<The Message >
1. Blessed is the one who comes in GOD's time! To have the eyes to see that blessing has come into one's presence is both gift and work. To respond is another issue. First, however is recognition. As we have traveled through Lent toward Easter there have been many opportunities to sharpen our awareness of how gifted we are with sisters and brothers (even unto St. Francis' sun and moon and fire). In paying closer attention to the blessings of life we are further encouraged to risk placing our values in the open blessing basket of abundance rather than the of close guarded handful of scarcity.
2. Having recognized the goodness of the fullness of life we have choices about how we will participate in same. There are suggestions that America and Abundance are synonymous. If so why is depression such a major issue for people living in such a place and time? One response is that unexpressed blessings fester.
This is not to promote more gloating that I got mine or I got more than you got. It is to encourage thankfulness of blessings wherever they break into the open. Can we hooray GOD when evidence of healing wholeness comes in someone else's life?
3. When we are loathe to give honor where honor is due (paralleling the issues of love of GOD, neighbor, self, one-another, and enemies) we invite being dismissed as irrelevant. In a sense, the issue of honoring (a very Native American Indian category) is a measure of spiritual maturity. Will we shout out our experience of being blessed? Will our lack of praise be so evident that even a pebble will get it and be moved to song?
I expect we will sometimes get it wrong and will praise that which inflicts pain. This is a part of our political reality when we look to validate our theory regardless of the witness of those who are harmed in the name of some greater good for some self-selected greater group.
It is difficult for us to continually monitor the blessing of GOD's peace versus tilting things to our own benefit. This is one of the places where the community can be of assistance. How ready are we to offer our colt, our benefits, for the use of making evident the presence of GOD? Perhaps we are more ready when we can see the larger picture. So the final question for the week is -- what would I hold back from helping clarify that blessing aplenty have been in our presence? Would I hold back my "colt"? Would I hold back my enthusiasm?
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