“THE MASTER HAS NEED OF THEM”
Palm Sunday, Year A. Mt. 21:1-11.
AIM: To apply one meaning of the Palm Sunday story to us today.
As we blessed the palms, we heard the Palm Sunday story. Jesus enters
on a donkey which he has instructed two of his disciples to fetch, along with
its still unweaned colt. In Jesus’ day a donkey was something like a car today.
How would you feel if you came out of church and found your car missing? Jerusalem
Anticipating that the owner of the animals would not be happy to see them hijacked, Jesus told the two disciples to say simply: “The master has need of them.” In Matthew’s original Greek text the word translated “master” is kyrios, which means “the Lord,” a royal title. It is the first time in Matthew’s gospel that Jesus claims this title for himself. He is exercising the right of kings, recognized throughout antiquity, to requisition modes of transport.
In Jesus’ day a king, returning victorious from battle, would ride triumphantly astride an imposing horse. Jesus, however, is a different kind of king. He came, he said, not to be served (like all other kings), but to serve, and to give his life in ransom for many. Hence his choice of a donkey, the most modest means of transport then available.
“Hosanna to the Son of David,” the people cry out. David was
greatest and most glamorous king. Any son of his inherited his royal rank. The
people confirm their royal greeting by putting their cloaks on the donkey, and
laying them down on Jesus’ way, along with palms taken from the trees which
lined the route. Israel
In baptism Jesus, our King, requisitioned each one of us. He laid his hand upon us. He filled us with his love, so that we could carry that love into a world starved for true love; he filled us with the light of his Holy Spirit, that through us, God’s light might shine in a dark world. “Let your light shine before others,” Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount, “so that people may see goodness in your acts and give praise to your heavenly Father” (Mt. 5:16).
Perhaps someone is thinking: “That’s a tall order.” You’re right. It is a tall order, made even harder because of our sins. But not impossible. When you grow discouraged and think that carrying the love and light of the Lord Jesus to a dark and hungry world is too much for a poor weak sinner like yourself, know that countless others before you have thought the same. How many of them became saints is known to God alone. And always remember this:
Every saint has a past. Every sinner has a future!