When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples, saying, "Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?' just say this, 'The Lord needs it.'" So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, "Why are you untying the colt?" They said, "The Lord needs it." Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying,
"Blessed is the king
who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven,
and glory in the highest heaven!"
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, order your disciples to stop." He answered, "I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out."
Jesus' Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem
I had the honor and privilege of a pilgrimage last summer to Israel. I was able to visit the places where Jesus was born, walked the earth and died. I had the unfathomable experience of placing my feet on the same temple steps where he walked and I was able to see the land that his eyes rested on during his human experience.
I was in Bethany, visiting the Church of Bethphage, which was built honoring Jesus mounting the colt and pressing on to do what he knew he had to do. His eyes were on Jerusalem, on his imminent suffering and death. There my eyes were on Jerusalem, the same vantage point that Jesus had, a surreal concept. Geographically, I always thought the events of Holy Week were so far away from each other, yet standing there, looking at the same wall that stood many years ago, I realized they were close, on top of each other in fact. I walked down the path through the Mount of Olives where pilgrims for 2000 years have followed in the footsteps of Jesus and his disciples. I walked down the Mount where Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem. So much has changed, yet so much is the same. Although this was a very solemn and grounding experience, I kept thinking back in time, how it must have been a real sight, tremendous energy!
Some things have an energy that is unstoppable. The dynamics of the human condition are unfathomable, the love, the hate, the ability to build up and the ability to destroy. Jesus and his message were unstoppable, 2000 years later, it is still strong, and those stones continue to shout. Jesus boldly accepted what he had to do; he didn't resist or bargain to prolong the inevitable. He entered the city with a gentle grace that inspires me to be what God is calling me to be. I pray for the stones of my soul shout out, to be a fraction as just and loving as our Lord.