PALM SUNDAY OF THE PASSION OF THE LORD YEAR B ON MARCH 28, 2021 (Procession: Mark 11: 1-10; R. 1: Isaiah 50: 4-7; Psalm 21: 8-9, 17-20, 23- 24; R. 2: Philippians 2: 6-11; Gospel: Matthew 14: 1-15:47)
FR EMMANUEL INEDU OCHIGBO
THE MASTER NEEDS IT!
Once upon a time,
There was a very important job to be done
And Everybody was sure Somebody would do it.
Anybody could have done it,
But Nobody did it.
Somebody got angry about that,
Because it was Everybody’s Job.
Everybody thought Anybody could do it
But Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.
It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody
When Nobody did What Anybody could have done.
We live in a world where people derive pleasure from trading blames, passing the buck, and pointing accusing fingers. We live in a world where everybody knows that everything is wrong with everything and everybody. But is anyone ready to take responsibility for anything?
When humanity lost paradise and lost favor in the sight of God because of disobedience, everybody in the garden knew that everything had gone wrong, but nobody took responsibility. Adam blamed God by saying “it was the woman you gave me that tempted me.” Then Eve blamed the serpent. Nobody took responsibility. After a long time, someone decided to take responsibility, but he was not responsible for what happened. Jesus, though innocent took responsibility for our transgression, and came to earth to pay the price. Today, as we celebrate the Passion Sunday, we commemorate the beginning of the most dramatic week in the public ministry of Christ when he gave his life to save us.
At the beginning of this triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, he sent two of his disciples saying, “Go to the village in front of you, and there you will find a donkey tied up with its colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says something to you, say: The Lord needs them, but he will send them back immediately” (Mark 11: 1- 4). What a paradox! He is the Lord, he is the Master, he is the King of Kings, he is God, he is the Word through whom everything was created, yet he has to borrow a donkey to ride on. This is a rare combination of divinity and dependence, of possession and poverty. He has nothing of his own, yet he owns all.
This is not the first time that he has to borrow from the creatures of his own hand. He began from his incarnation. He borrowed from the womb to the tomb; he borrowed from his birth to his death. He had to borrow the womb of a virgin to become flesh. Today, when we talk about the Precious Blood of Jesus, we are referring to the blood he borrowed from the Virgin Mary. When we receive the Body of Christ, it is the Body he borrowed from the Blessed Virgin Mary. Therefore, the Body that suffered and died for us on the Cross was borrowed from the Virgin Mary.
To become a legitimate Israelite, and descendant of King David, he had to borrow a father, namely Joseph who became his foster father. When the time came for him to be born, there was “no place for him in the Inn”, and so he had to borrow a temporary accommodation from the animals in Bethlehem. When the threat from King Herod drove him from his home country, he became an immigrant; he had to go all the way to Africa, to borrow another country, Egypt to become his temporary country.
He had no pulpit to preach the Gospel, and so he had to borrow the boat of Peter from where he preached. On another occasion, when his listeners became hungry, he had pity on them, he wanted to feed them, but he had no food. To perform the miracle of feeding the crowd, he had to borrow five loaves of bread and two fish from a little boy.
So, the borrowing continues from his birth to his death. He had to borrow a room to take his last supper with his disciples. Even at death, he had no tomb to be buried in, he had no tomb to rise from, and so even his tomb at death was borrowed. What a paradox, what a God!
An important message that can be gleaned from this act of God borrowing from the creatures of His own hands is that everything that we have is a gift from God to us on trust. It is therefore a privilege to hear that “The Lord has need of it”. For “All good gifts around us are sent from heaven above, then thank the Lord, oh thank the Lord, for all his love.”
The Message from Christ to us today is that “The Lord has need of it.” Whatever has been given to us is from God and is not just for us alone. We have been doing a very good job of identifying all that is wrong with the World, but the challenge today is what are we ready to offer to be part of the solution?
We have so many theologians, we have so many biblical commentators, we have so many eloquent preachers, but we need more Christians. Christians were not given the name because they knew so much about Jesus, but because of the life they lived.
As Christ gets very close to the Cross, he continues to borrow from the creatures of his hands to save the world. What are you ready to add to what he has for the salvation of the world?