How do we respond to such an exquisite display of love?

Jesus, seated on a donkey, resolutely rides into Jerusalem knowing he will die there. Both he and the saint who is showing him the way are holding a scroll. The word written by the prophet is coming to pass as the Word-Become-Flesh writes history.

Behind Jesus, the disciples follow in a huddle, solemn determination on their faces except for the one in front–John perhaps–whose face is filled with compassion.

The curious religious leaders and people of Jerusalem crowd the gate. One with  a closed fist looks away, another open-handed welcomes, a third protectively clutches her robe. And the ancient looking children in the foreground! Three are spreading their outer garments on the path or waving palms and the fourth pulls his robe over his head. He will lay down the only piece of clothing he has on. His hosanna costs him everything, including his dignity. But no one seems to notice.

The donkey plods on.

Like everyone here, I am convinced, determined, broken-hearted, sceptical, intrigued, guarded, caught up in hope, laid bare in shame, humbly trudging forward and standing in the way.

Jesus, I’m not ready, but you comes into my Jerusalem anyway. There’s not one person in this scene that you love less than another, no one you dismiss. No part of me is too aloof, too embarrassing, too tight-fisted to be loved.

My heart swells. Hosanna! Hosanna in the highest!

palm frond by Samuel John

 How gently and lovingly
you wake in my heart. . .
how tenderly you swell my heart with love.
— “Living Flame of Love” by St. John of the Cross

Questions for your journey into Holy Week:

  • How does it feel to know that Jesus understands and welcomes every part of you?
  • How do you respond when you behold such an exquisite display of love for you?
Credits and references:
Mosaic, Einzug Christi in Jerusalem by Meister der Palastkapelle in Palermo, 1150.  [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons”Palm Frond” by Samuel John. Used with permission.
“Living Flame of Love” is in The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross, translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Otilio Rodgriguez, O.C.D. with introductions by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. (ICS Publications, 1979)
This post was originally published March 28, 2015.
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2017.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013-2017.  http://www.estherhizsa.wordpress.com

About Esther Hizsa

Esther is a spiritual director and writer. She lives in Burnaby with her husband, Fred, and they have two grown children and two grandchildren.
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2 Responses to Hosanna!

  1. Susan King says:

    I love this. Thanks for posting it. I always look forward to reading your intriguing posts. I live in Vancouver and have been following your blog for awhile – I can’t remember where I found it. One of God’s mysteries LOL Palm Sunday always sneaks up on me. Happy Easter!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Esther Hizsa says:

    Hi Susan,
    Thank you for your encouraging words. Yes Palm Sunday snuck up on me too this year. Good to hear you are not so far away. I had a quick look at your blog. Beautiful. I can see that creating with colours and paper would make you very happy. Have a blessed Holy Week.


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