God of Love, God of Justice,
God of Subversion, God of the Oppressed,
Open our eyes to injustice around us.
Crowd our hearts with compassion.
Energize our steps as those of a young colt.
Sweeten our lips with triumphant praises.
“Glory to God in the highest!”
“Blessed are they who come in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in Heaven!”
When another says, “Prepare a way for me”
May we sprint boldly ahead for them.
When they proclaim, “We need this”,
May we give without question.
Where harshness threatens the path of others,
May we be the palm branches softening the blow.
Where silence exists, may we be the stones firmly shouting,
“Empire has no place here! The kin-dom of God is for all!”
May we hear.
May we welcome.
May we empower.
We pray all this humbly in the name
of God the true Royal,
Christ the Subverter of Empire,
and Holy Spirit the Fire of Rebellion.
We invite you to hear from the gospel of Matthew 21:1-11
1 When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately.”
4 This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet: 5 “Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; 7 they brought the donkey and the colt and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.
9 The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” 10 When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”
The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God!
The grass withers and the flower fades,
but the Word of the Lord endures forever. Amen.
Homily and Reflection
How are we invited to resist the desire for power and living out of our ego?
Who and where are those we need to be in solidary with?
What does our identity reveal about our authentic calling?
Let us close with a benediction.
Deliver us from all that destroys our common life.
Bring an end to the greed
that strips our communities of wholeness.
For too long we have stepped on each other
in a scramble to the top.
Break our fixation with endless consumption,
and the incessant need to outdo, outshine,
and scapegoat one another.
Teach us the selfless way of Christ.
May we return home with the Nonviolent Nazarene
to better unearth and understand
our multifaceted identity
and beautiful calling.
May we embrace our vocation,
following Jesus on the downward path.
Conform our hearts and minds
to the humility of the self-emptying Christ
In the name
of the God who rescues us from oppression
Jesus, who subverts our ideals of power
and Spirit who ushers us into communion
with one another.
[ Photo by Terry Vlisidis ]