Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion;
see, your king is coming,
seated on a donkey’s colt.
Savour these words with me.
Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming. . .
Ever since I was young, waiting for someone to arrive makes me anxious. Fear asks, What if they don’t come? What if you don’t really matter? But in these words of John, reality tugs at my sleeve. “Look. See for yourself. Your king is coming. There he is, seated on a donkey.”
Daughter Zion. . .
Ever since I was young, I’ve had trouble believing I’m lovable. I was rarely anyone’s first choice. If I was, I assumed there must be something wrong with the person who would choose me. Whenever I started to believe I was good enough to be loved, something would happen to prove that I wasn’t. But the Christ who rides into Jerusalem every Palm Sunday comes and shows me the people in my life who know me and love me the way God does–just as I am. I am invited to lay down my palm branch and believe I am a beloved daughter and friend.
Your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.
Ever since I was young and got in trouble for being bad, I was afraid of God. I knew Jesus loved me because the Bible told me so, but God, who knows all and sees all, I wasn’t so sure about. But Jesus shows us that God is like him: gentle, benevolent, and more loving than the most loving person you know.
“Recall a time when you felt loved or felt love for another,” Matthew Linn, SJ said when he came to Vancouver recently. “God loves you even more than that. Rest in this image as you go to sleep at night. Recall it again when you wake up in the morning.” This is our king. This is our God.
In the morning
When I began to wake,
It happened again–
That You, Beloved,
Had stood over me all night
That as soon as I began to stir
You put Your lips on my forehead
And lit a Holy Lamp
Inside my Heart.
* * *
For reflection and prayer:
- What else do you hear in this verse?
- What fear in you is being allayed?
- Imagine laying down a palm branch and welcoming all the love you long for.
- Steve Bell’s song “Lenten Lands” (lyrics by Malcolm Guite) echoes today’s theme. You may want to have a listen.