PALM SUNDAY

Unbound

“Untie it and bring it here.” Why are you untying it…the Master has need of it.”

Luke 19:30- 31.

Today is Palm Sunday and it is the beginning of Holy Week. The liturgy begins with Christ’s entry into Jerusalem with the gospel passage from Luke. As we stand waving our palms, we are filled with exuberance and excitement and yet we know how fleeting this is as we await the reading of the narrative of the Passion of the Lord. Every year it is read and every year it stirs our soul and causes us pain. The readings are rich and powerful.

One of my favorite ways to meditate on and read scripture is a method taught by St. Ignatius in the Jesuit tradition. It is to use your imagination and place yourself in the scene. There are certainly many characters to choose from this particular Sunday. I ask you to close your eyes and really stretch your imagination and dig deep. Think about the colt that Jesus rides into Jerusalem in triumph, then become the colt.

For me, as the colt carrying Jesus, I am proud and glad to be serving my King and Master. I have never had anyone ride me before. How do I feel? I think of how I got here. Just a short time ago, I was tied up and bound, not serving any particular purpose. In a way I am glad I am being left alone feeding on hay. Suddenly, a man approaches and disturbs my peace. I hear him say to my owner, “the Master has need of it.” Luke 19, 30.

As the disciple comes to unbound and untie me, I am reluctant. I have never been outside my pen. I have never been ridden before. I like the status quo. I am comfortable and hidden. That is about to change. Do I want it to change? I am free from that which has kept me tied up. I am now being called to serve. Will I accept? Will I serve? 

During Lent, our spiritual practices are designed to help us grow closer to Jesus and to better understand and fulfill our baptismal promises (which we will renew on Easter Sunday) and our discipleship. Hopefully, we have looked at our lives, and our failings with greater self-awareness realizing how our “sin” has kept us “tied up” and turned inward on ourselves and others.

Jesus offers mercy and healing. He is in need of us to bring His message of healing to others. Just as he needed the colt. That colt is you and I. As St. Theresa of Avila said, “Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands, no feet, but yours. Yours are the eyes with which Christ looks out His compassion to the world. Yours are the hands with which He is to bless us now.” 

We are His body and we are to bring forth the Kingdom of Heaven on earth one small act at a time. This Lenten season have we untied ourselves so that we may move closer to Christ.? Will you carry our Lord?