Sat, 04 Jul 20 Lectio Divina - Year A
In the first reading of this Sunday in the book of Zechariah, we read about the triumphant entry of the Lord. About the event, we can also find in the Gospel of Matthew chap. 21-5, in which, this event is explained with the same expression of words, with this reference St. Matthew means the fulfillment of the prophecy with the coming of Jesus. This king is the Saviour, he is meek, and he will be coming on a donkey hence the daughters of Jerusalem are asked to rejoice and shout for the joy and welcome the king because he will suppress the war. Jesus presented himself as Messiah to Jerusalem and the people of Israel. Though the triumphant entry was a joyful celebration a Roman spectator would wonder, what was so triumphed about this entry, it did not compare at all to the kind of the parade that the Roman emperor Julius Caesar had when he returned after conquering the vast region of Gaul. Jesus showed us with his life that he is meek in this context precisely his entry on a donkey.
Here the saviour is coming on a donkey, which was not customary for the kings of the earth and that which makes difference from the other kings of the world who travel on the horse; it gives us the particular significance in this context. The donkey is a "peaceful" animal that serves above all for the transport of people and goods. Here Zechariah presents the saviour as one who will suppress the war by proclaiming peace and love, but not with the violence; he will save not only in Israel (Ephraim and Jerusalem) but also the whole universe. The horse is an animal destined only for war. A king who arrives on a cart and horses, therefore, demonstrates that he wants to base his authority on the strength of arms.
Doesn't a question arise in us about our life of humility in our daily life?
Do we pretend to be humble? Or really are we humble in our life?
Do we interpret humility according to our convenience?
Coming to the second reading St. Paul makes, us notice that there is a mystical and spiritual union between Christ and believers. Sometimes Christ is in us and we in him. Christ is in believers by his Spirit and believers are in Christ by faith.
God wants the Spirit to rule over our flesh. When we allow the flesh to reign over the Spirit, we find ourselves bound by the sinful patterns and desperation. Our journey of life or the pattern of our life must be according to the Spirit, not according to the flesh. Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their mind on the things of the Spirit. The Spiritual mind is life and peace because the carnal mind is enmity against God. Those who live with the mind of the flesh cannot please God.
The flesh battels against God because it does not want to be suffered and surrendered to the Lord. We can also find in Galatians chap. 5-24 on this aspect of flesh and the Spirit. The Spirit of God dwells in us because the Holy Spirit is given to each believer when they are born again through the sacrament baptism.
Are we the people who only live fulfilling the desires of the flesh?
Are we aware of the presence of the Spirit of God in us?
In this Gospel of Matthew, we read Jesus praising and thanking His Father for revealing the mystery to the children, which reveals Jesus’s intimacy and union with his Father. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest” this is a consoling phrase for all us because of so many things we are burdened in this world. These words of Jesus consoles us because they assure the rest. Jesus says, “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” These verses spoke specifically to those burdened by the Jewish law; where the religious professionals prided themselves on their observance of the law denying justice for the ordinary people of the society. As this yoke is the measure of control for the animals while ploughing, in the name of the law, the leaders of the society doomed the ordinary people. Though Jesus said in that context of the society even today, it is relevant for us. Jesus through his life showed us that the rules are made for human beings, not human beings are made for the rules (cf. Mk 2-27).
Are we the persons who make the rules of life according to our convenience?
Are we the persons who only stick on to the rules and criticize the other, without being compassionate?
Do we expect only the other person to follow the rules?