Sunday, March 28, 2021
Mark 11:1-10 and Mark 14:1 – 15:47
Reflection by Deacon Ralph and Jane Bartley
Christians around the world celebrate Palm Sunday, commemorating the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on a donkey with the crowd singing, “Hosanna in the highest” and waving palm branches. Accounts of this happening can be found in all four Gospels. For Palm Sunday of 2021, we read of this event from the Gospel of Mark. The Palm Sunday liturgy actually has two Gospel readings: one which describes Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, and the other which recounts his Passion and death.
We hear in the first reading of a “chosen donkey” as one of the main characters in Mark’s account of what happened as Jesus entered Jerusalem. As many of you know, I grew up on my grandfather’s Western Kentucky farm, so I heard many stories of using humble work animals. This was before the post-war days when a small farmer could finally purchase tractors and other machinery to lighten the workloads on the farm.
Mark tells us that Jesus sent his disciples into the village to get a donkey. The donkey was found exactly where Jesus instructed the disciples to look. God had arranged for the donkey to be at that place and available for Jesus’ use. The same is true for all of us. We are “chosen” and put in this world at this time for use by God to lighten other people’s loads. Let us be open and welcoming to letting God use us in the manner that fits His plan. Let us lighten the load for others.
During this Holy Week let us carry Jesus and Jesus’ message of “love” to others, especially to our families and those we will be journeying with through these holy days and on to the celebration of Easter. Have a blessed and prayerful Holy Week.