The Holy Gospel: April 17, 2011 (Year A)

Read:  Matthew 21:1-11

Meditation:  “Holy Week Arrangements”

It is right to read the Palm Sunday and Holy Week passages with the emphasis upon Jesus.  As Henri Nouwen has said, “Jesus is the Gospel.”  And this is the week when through his passion, death, and resurrection we are brought into the heart of the Story.

But this year, I have tried to read things from a different angle.  And as I’ve done so, I have noticed how involved the disciples were in the events of the week.  Before the triumphal entry, Jesus tells them to go and find the donkey.  Later in the week, Jesus tells them where to make the arrangements for the last supper.  This is also the time when Jesus receives hospitality from Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.  And even from the cross, he asks John to take care of his mother after he dies.

It is good for us to see this divine-human interaction.  There is a viewpoint which says, “We should not do anything, so that God can get the glory for everything.”  It sounds really “spiritual,” but it is false. In past times it was called Quietism—the notion that the human will assumes its proper place by becoming passive.

The spirituality of Jesus is different.  Beginning with Palm Sunday and continuing all the way to the cross, Jesus was inviting the disciples to be involved with him in the redemption story.  There’s plenty in the Holy Week narrative that the disciples could not do, but there were some things in the story that they could do.  And Jesus did not hesitate to ask them to do those things.  We see other examples of this throughout his ministry.

There are always “arrangements” to be made, and it is at this level where we find our places of service and involvement.  Perhaps this can be a Holy Week for us to recommit ourselves to listening for Jesus’ instructions to do what we can do, while he is doing what he alone can do.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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1 Response to The Holy Gospel: April 17, 2011 (Year A)

  1. jecel gastador says:

    we always hear jesus’ words and experience his omnipotence from day to day. this holy week will be another season to reminisce his sacrifices and sufferings so as the seven words he uttered before he died on the cross. hope that He will reign in our hearts always. He our most trusted bestfriend.

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