Thus says the LORD: Rejoice heartily, O daughter Zion, shout for joy, O daughter Jerusalem! See, your king shall come to you; a just savior is he, meek, and riding on an ass, on a colt, the foal of an ass. He shall banish the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem; the warrior’s bow shall be banished, and he shall proclaim peace to the nations. His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.
Romans 8:9, 11-13
Brothers and sisters: You are not in the flesh; on the contrary, you are in the spirit, if only the Spirit of God dwells in you. Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through his Spirit that dwells in you. Consequently, brothers and sisters, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Gospel Cycle Cycle A
At that time Jesus exclaimed: “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to little ones. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.” “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”
“I am meek and humble of heart.”—this is the focus of our readings today. All of us are invited to meditate on what humility might mean in our lives. It is surely not about a lack of self-esteem, because that is a psychological defect, not a virtue! Instead these readings can invite us to reflect on how we relate to others again, and especially on how we present our own beliefs as Catholics, as Christians, to others.
Jesus is, we believe, truly God as well as truly human. Jesus humbles Himself to become human so as to redeem us. Jesus, by becoming a human, is able to be seen and touched and understood by us.
So the challenge is for us to become like others in such a way that others can be heard by us, be touched by us and be understood by us—for the sake of proclaiming the Gospel. We hear this kind of thinking echoed in the writings of Saint Paul in various of his letters. He is willing to become the slave of all in order that Jesus Christ may be proclaimed.
We must hear God today asking us: what are you willing to do in your life to proclaim the message of Jesus Christ to others?
But in order for us to do this, we must ourselves personally come to know Jesus as meek and humble of heart, we must hear His voice speaking to us, we must know His divine presence in our lives, living and loving. Once we know the divine presence so personally, it is practically impossible to remain silent about the Gospel. We find ourselves speaking about what God has done for us—each in his or her own way, but nevertheless proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ, who redeems us.
The first reading, from the Prophet Zechariah, is a reading we often associate with Palm Sunday, but it is really speaking about the reality of how salvation is announced: your king will come to you riding on an ass! We need to watch for the presence of God in the most unexpected places and especially in the people and the situations where we would not want to find salvation.
The second reading, from the Letter to the Romans, tells us the way for us to purify our hearts and our beings so that we might see better, and that is by living according to the Spirit of God.
The Gospel brings us back to Christ’s invitation to trust Him and to find in Him the way to the Father.
Let us pray this Sunday that we may know Jesus Christ personally and that His love and message may be effective in us by our willingness to do all that is necessary for the sake of the Kingdom, for the sake of the love of Jesus Christ.