He comes in peace

Palm Sunday
Friends in Christ, today is Palm Sunday.  
Today with our palms, we walk with Jesus as he enters the city.  Jesus comes into the City hailed as king, as the Messiah.  
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Now it is true, that in those days the Jewish people probably thought Jesus would be a warrior Messiah,  who would raise an army against their enemy, the Romans.  But Christ was trying to teach with signs,  that they might understand what kind of Messiah he is.  Riding the donkey was a sign of peace.   
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St. Matthew tells us: ‘This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: ‘Say to daughter Zion, ‘Behold your king is coming to you, gentle, and mounted on a donkey.’ The King of heaven is coming in peace, he is not coming for war.  
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In the ancient Jewish Talmud a question asks:  ‘Why doesn’t your Messiah come riding a horse?’ The answer:  the horse is a sign of war, the donkey is a sign of peace.  Therefore, it was said that a king came riding upon a horse when he was planning war, and upon a donkey when he was coming in peace.  
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In the Talmud it was also written, that the Messiah would appear as a poor man on a donkey  only if the people were not worthy of salvation.  The truth is, that none of us are worthy of salvation, and so Christ came on a donkey.  
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In the Book of Revelation, that last book of the bible, we see images of the final judgment, the end of the world, when Christ will return, not in peace, but to judge, and definitively crush his enemies, at the final trumpet.  ‘And I saw .. a white horse, and he who sat on it called Faithful and True, and .. he judges and wages war .. and the armies in heaven .. were following Him on white horses ..’  When Christ appears at the end of the world, it will be to judge,  to vanquish his enemies;  but today, the Lord comes on a donkey, which means he comes in peace.  He is coming to die for you and for me.   
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This is what we will remember in the coming days of Holy Week. Let us therefore walk with the Lord in his Passion, that we may celebrate his victory on Easter. The victory of all of us, and the hope of our own resurrection in the world to come.

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[Entrusted to the prayers of St. John of God]

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