The Good News for the day, March 25, 2018
When the massive crowd that had come to the Passover Holy Day heard Jesus was coming into Jerusalem, they broke off palm branches and went eastward to meet him. They were shouting: “Hosanna!” and ”Blessed is someone who comes in the Lord’s family name—the king of Israel.” Jesus found an ass and rode on it—as it is written: Fear no more, daughter Zion; see, your king comes, seated upon an ass’s colt. His followers did not understand what this meant at first, but once what Jesus is all about (“glorified”), they remembered that some things were written about him and that they had done this for him. (John 12)
Most Christians grasp the ironies of Palm Sunday—the favorable rally of Sunday yielding to the lethal crowd on Thursday, the contrast of humility of a “king,” and the “king” whose title will be echoed on the cross.
But the point is the Good News. This one is simple. Kingship is humility. Greatness is quiet—let others label you. Praise and popularity are passing—transient—things. Goodness is waiting things out.
You and I share that ride—share that Life, sharing the realm—the Other World—of our Father. We have a dignity from God, a preciousness hidden from this world. No matter the fluctuations of success and failure, of achievement and disappointment, of being loved or being neglected, of making wise, significant improvements in the world—or being helpless, disabled and full of shortcomings.
Our faith and hope—Palm Sunday and Good Friday—lie in our Father’s hands, in the effort to do His will, in our constant repentance and growth. If people praise you—it is good; if people criticize you—it is good. What counts is hidden from them. You are at peace.