“Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel!” (cf. John 12, 12—16)

We begin today’s liturgy with the reading of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The people have come to believe that Jesus is the promised Messiah. The disciples bring a colt for Jesus to ride on while they enter Jerusalem for the celebration of the Passover. The disciples prepare a “red carpet” to the city by laying down on the road their cloaks and branches from trees in the fields, accompanying him with shouts of praise “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord – the King of Israel!” (cf. John 12, 12—16).

Jesus accepts this honor in all humility entering Jerusalem in this manner. Up to now, all of his teachings and journeys have been made on foot. On this day, he accepts to ride as only the well-to-do can afford – albeit on a humble steed.

All too quickly, the liturgy leads us into the celebration of the Passover meal, Jesus’ final announcements/teachings and finally the betrayal, trial, condemnation and crucifixion of Jesus.

Our Lenten journey is coming to an end. We have journeyed in faith, hope and love (cf. Pope Francis Lenten message) with the assistance of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Our hearts are ready (hopefully!) to receive and live the message of the coming days – Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter.

We have been called to conversion, to a deeper relationship with God through prayer. God’s covenant with humanity has been set before us. Hardships, desert spaces and even mini-transfigurations have probably been our lot on our journey of life. Living in greater simplicity (fasting) and sharing who and what we are to others (almsgiving) have assisted us as we discover conversion of our way of living and thinking.

May the work of this final week and the celebrations of the Triduum (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) open our hearts and souls to an ever-deepening relationship with our God, ourselves, and others.

“Father, if this chalice cannot pass without my drinking it, your will be done.”            (Matthew 26, 42)