Gospel Reflections

Gospel Reflection for  Sunday the 5th of April 2020

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This Sunday is Palm Sunday. The Gospel passage that is traditionally read at the beginning of Mass, before the blessing of the palms, is about the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem. The disciples get a young donkey on which Jesus rides into Jerusalem and many spread their garments and palm branches on the ground before Him. This fulfils the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9 confirming Jesus as the Messiah. In response, those who followed Jesus cry out, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!”.
There are many things happening around that time, just as there are so many thing happening in our world today. Much uncertainty and questions, a wondering what it all leads towards. How we approach this and how we look at them is what makes all the difference.
Many pilgrims came to Jerusalem for the Passover and the population could more than double. This naturally was an inconvenience for the local inhabitants. When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem it was even more of an inconvenience as it just added to the turmoil and upset of the status quo. The authorities were getting worried about the following Jesus was getting. On Saturday we hear that after the resurrection of Lazarus “many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary had seen what Jesus did believed in him”. The fear of the authorities of an upset seems to be confirmed by the entrance into Jerusalem.
The tragedy is that when we look too much at the ‘worldly’ aspects of life, the real events and what really happens on a supernatural level is not seen. The worries of the world, personal comfort or position come in the way of perceiving what is important, or even vital.
There is something in the air! A tension, but that tension does not have to be bad. It is a tension of a promise which will be fulfilled. We should open our hearts to what Jesus wants to reveal, as He did more and more towards this, His final Passover. He shows that even in the midst of turmoil God has a plan and is close to us. To walk with us on the journey in good and bad times, in the joys, in the pain, in healing and in sickness. The journey is ultimately not about the ‘here and now’ but about our spiritual journey towards communion with God.
In a time of uncertainty and doubt it is especially important to choose to follow Jesus. Not to get frustrated with the unknowns and tensions around. But to recognise the stir in the air and the (spiritual) reality as it unfolds in our own lives. It is a time where, maybe in the darkness of isolation, we may find ourselves able to perceive with eyes of faith the light ahead of us.
During Holy Week especially, each of us has an opportunity to reflect on this. Do we turn to Him and search for Him, or do we try to find distractions. Is he central to our lives or ‘an inconvenience’. We can make the choice to walk with Him, to follow the Gospel passages that help us reflect on our journey through the darkness of the cross to the light of the resurrection. We know from history what happens, but let us know through the light of our faith.
“What do you seek” (Jn 1:38). Use especially the time of Holy Week to choose who to follow, and to make it a special time to discover what Gods want to show you.
-Fr Luuk Jansen OP