The Glorified Ass
Today, we hear the story of Jesus’s triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem while riding on a donkey or, more traditionally, an ass. Historians will both agree and disagree as to the factual historicity of this event but its meaning for us has little bearing on either. Today, it is revealed to us that this unique king Jesus chooses the humblest, the simplest and the most honest means for travel and self-presentation. At this point in Jesus’s career, if you will allow me to use such words, he could have chosen a better means of travel especially when seeking to enter into the holy and world-renown city of Jerusalem. Jesus however, undoubtedly remembers the words of Scripture in Isaiah 57:15 which say,
“For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, "I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.”
Jesus, is well aware of his specialness, his connection to God, and yet he chooses to associate with the contrite people and the low places of this earth. Jesus knows that he can never minister to truly hurting people if he parades in pageantry and lives as a king. Rather, he becomes one of the people and takes a seat on the common ass. In doing so Jesus glorifies the donkey and lifts it from a place of nothingness to a place of prominence. For two-thousand years since, since the time this story first began to be shared, we have have talked about the donkey each year on this Sunday. Talk about a glorified ass! Not many animals can claim such fame, such a connection to what many of us call, “The Greatest Story Ever Told!”
Today, I believe that Jesus calls each one of us to become a glorified ass. Such a comical idea isn’t it? But yes, Jesus asks us to carry him forth into the world offering him in our cities, places of business and homes. This is truly an incredible gift because many of us feel we are too damaged, to lacking in faith and to unable to ever bear Incarnate Love upon ourselves and yet Jesus still asks us to do so. This Holy Week, accept the calling that regardless of how lowly you have viewed yourself over the past year, this is your moment, this is your week. Jesus is asking each one us to offer him the means to make a lasting change in this world.
Jesus is no longer with us in body but his spirit is always with us. Do you hear him? He beckons you to make yourself available, that once again he may be exalted on the cross and bring hope to the entire world through the light of his resurrection. This week can only truly be called, “Holy,” if we choose to bring holiness into the world around us. Jesus will do most the work, he just asks you and I to be present, listening and willing to offer a ride. I dare you you, this week: become a glorified ass and watch God be made known in your life. Stay alert for opportunities to help God who is revealed in the faces of those who surround us daily. Love others in the same way that Jesus will soon demonstrate to us on the cross. Stand by others in their darkest moments. Be the means to bring God into the lives of others and you too will be remembered eternally.