Today is Sunday the 27 March, Palm Sunday.
The choir of Portsmouth Cathedral sing the Benedictus.
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Mark.
When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples and said to them, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, “Why are you doing this?” just say this, “The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.” They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, some of the bystanders said to them, ‘What are you doing, untying the colt?’ They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting,
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!’
As this story opens, Jesus is approaching Jerusalem at the start of the last week before his death. He knows the danger he is in. What’s your sense of how he’s feeling as he journeys? What keeps him moving forward?
Much of this passage is mysterious. Has Jesus made arrangements beforehand to have this colt available? Why do the bystanders allow the disciples to take it? How do you understand what is going on here?
What follows next feels like a victory parade. What would it be like for you to have been part of that crowd shouting their hosannas?
As you hear the passage again, put yourself in the shoes of one of these two disciples. As the story unfolds, see what you notice…
This, and all the events of the coming week, are being done for you. Speak for a few moments to Jesus out of that awareness.
You have given all to me. To you, Lord, I return it. Everything is yours; do with it what you will. Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.