WHAT PRICE APPLAUSE? A Mini-Rumbling

I have been reflecting on the ‘walks’ or ‘journeys’ or ‘movements’ of Jesus. From the journey pre-birth forming in his mother’s womb as she made her way to spend three months with Elizabeth, to the flight into Egypt when he was carried as a little baby, by his parents, fleeing the crazy Herod. Of
course his most renowned ‘walk’ was his agony as he showed perfect love for us with every step of the Via Dolorosa.

Though in remembering the awfulness of the Cross we rejoice in his appearance as the Risen Lord on the Sabbath afternoon walk to Emmaus. I recently thought of the journey of Jesus back to the Father through the Holy Spirit in the Ascension. However as we move into Holy Week my thoughts turn towards another journey or movement, and it is the one he took on the back of a donkey.

‘If I get an encore I go home feeling like a king’ so sings Christy Moore in his popular song Encore. There is a bit of this in all of us. We all like to be stroked. We all like to be liked. We all like the encore. The ride into Jerusalem on the back of the donkey in a sense is Jesus’s encore. You can be sure he is not fooled by it. ‘Human approval means nothing to me’ ( Jn 5: 41-43). How quickly it moved from ‘Hosanna to the king of kings’ to ‘crucify him crucify him!’ How are we on human approval? At what
price applause? What would we do for an encore? As we complete our Lenten journey let us remember not to place the fickle passing praise of others above being in right relation with the Lord. ‘For what shall it profit a person if they gain the whole world and lose their very soul?’ (Mk 8: 36)

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