Mk 11 1-10
When they were nearing Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany on Mount Olives, he sent off two of the disciples with instructions: “Go to the village across from you. As soon as you enter, you’ll find a colt tethered, one that has never yet been ridden. Untie it and bring it. If anyone asks, ‘What are you doing?’ say, ‘The Master needs him, and will return him right away.’”
They went and found a colt tied to a door at the street corner and untied it. Some of those standing there said, “What are you doing untying that colt?”
The disciples replied exactly as Jesus had instructed them, and the people let them alone. They brought the colt to Jesus, spread their coats on it, and he mounted.
The people gave him a wonderful welcome, some throwing their coats on the street, others spreading out rushes they had cut in the fields. Running ahead and following after, they were calling out,
Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in God’s name!
Blessed the coming kingdom of our father David!
Hosanna in highest heaven!
Holy Week begins with an unruly crowd looking for excitement and spectacle. Whether they believe that Jesus could be the Messiah is a moot point – it is Festival time and hope springs eternal. In the main they will be let down – there is no battle ahead – Jesus is not that kind of man.
Although the moment in the Temple may have stirred some – generally Jesus has committed himself to a path that can only end in betrayal, suffering and death. His choice has been made at the gates of David’s city. The opportunity to escape back into the wilderness is lost.
Today we have the choice of how we respond to the entry into Jerusalem. Will we be waving from the sidelines enjoying the controversy but not wanting to get involved? Will we follow on, wanting to share as much time as we can with the message of peace that is offered? Will we be quickly distracted back into the busyness of other things?
Holy Week gives us the opportunity to relive our choices. To decide who we will stand with in the days ahead.