Blessed Is the One Who Comes!
Andrew Bolton of Leicester, Leicestershire, England
The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. …Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. -Psalm 118:22, 26
The story of Palm Sunday tells of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem with the acclaim of a crowd that senses who he is. (This crowd is not the mob that will yell “Crucify him!” a few days later.) Jesus rides into the city on a donkey, not on a cavalry horse, a bicycle, or a tank. Jesus enters in peace, in the name of the Lord.
After arriving, Jesus cleanses the temple of those making outrageous profits by selling sacrificial animals to the devoted poor at exorbitant prices. After this prophetic protest, the chief priests, scribes, and leaders look for a way to kill Jesus (Mark 11:18, Luke 19:47).
Why is Jesus rejected? Because he stood up for justice for the poor, and he disturbed cheating profiteers occupying the most sacred space in Israel. It is always dangerous to be an effective activist, to stand up for justice, as Archbishop \xc3\x93scar Romero, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr. found out.
Jesus is scorned but is vindicated within a week. The stone rejected by the exploiting establishment nevertheless becomes the chief cornerstone of God’s coming kingdom.
Christ is willing to enter my life in peace, gently. He will cause disruption in the temple of soul, in my priorities, in my mixed motives, and I will complain and reject him. But when I find there is no other way to real life, he will offer to come again, full of grace. He will plant righteousness in my heart, if I let him. Then my new hunger for his nonviolent justice in the world also will get me in trouble.
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Zion is coming!
Are we moving toward Jesus, the peaceful One?
Gospel Contemplation (Mark 11:1-11)
Each week during Lent, you are invited to pray with a different gospel story from the life of Christ. Use your senses and imagination to enter the text. Allow it to come to life in you, observing details, noticing interactions, even engaging in dialogue. Notice where you find yourself in the story and how you feel about what is happening. Notice what it evokes in you or invites of you. Take time to journal or enter silent prayer to reflect on your experience and to sense where the Spirit may be leading you through this scriptural encounter.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.