Jesus Enters Jerusalem

And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.” (Matthew 21:8-9)

Today we celebrate Christ the King who enters into our hearts, where he saves us from sins, our misery, our darkness, and our death! St. Augustine says, “For Christ was not the king of Israel so that he might exact a tax or equip an army with weaponry and visibly vanquish an enemy. He was the king in that he rules minds, in that he gives counsel for eternity, in that he leads into the kingdom of heaven, for those who believe, hope and love.

The people of Israel proclaimed their respect and honor to our Lord in the best way they could think of by laying their garments at his feet. How do we express our respect to Christ? To take Christ as our king, we must lay all under his feet, and welcome him into our hearts and houses.

The Jews however, rejoiced at the coming of Christ because they expected him to save them from the Roman rule. He was greeted and mistaken for a worldly king and expected to save the multitude from worldly problems. Sometimes even we mistake Christ for someone that only satisfies our daily needs on earth, and we forget the more important matter of our eternity. Even though the Jews wrongly understood Christ to be a worldly King, he still accepted their good-will.

Our Lord rejected the idea of being an earthly King, he rejected glory and chose instead to be persecuted and suffer for our sake so that we may inherit the Heavenly Kingdom. Jesus wanted to free the people from sin, not from the rule of the Romans. Similarly, we should contemplate on this blessed day what we choose in our lives; earthly materialistic glory, or pain and carrying our cross so that we may gain the pleasures of the eternal Heavenly Kingdom?

If there is suffering to reach virtue, then let us endure to gain it, and if there is pain in doing what is good, then let us suffer through it with happiness and contentedness. Christ rejected glory, and preferred the road of pain, for the true glory of man lies in pain.

  • Image contributed by James Tissot Collection (Brooklyn Museum)

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