How do we prepare for our own Spiritual entrance into Jerusalem?

Apr 08, 17 How do we prepare for our own Spiritual entrance into Jerusalem?

When we take the time to discern and measure our own spiritual progress two things should come to mind; first, the need to be honest with our current spiritual state, and two the humility to seek a deeper journey with Christ in a revealing way. If this is the basis of measuring our own spiritual progress then many of us would fall short. We are reminded that everyone is called to enter the kingdom of God (CCC 543). Jesus reminds us of this very fact when he directs the Apostles to go after the lost sheep preaching to them that the kingdom of Heaven is at hand (Mt 10:5-7).

In preparing for our own spiritual entrance into Jerusalem, the significance of Palm Sunday should bring us toward a sense of awe, wonder and reverence. What is about to take place upon Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem is the fulfillment of his Messianic mission to offer himself in sacrifice via crucifixion for the salvation of souls that continues to have an everlasting effect upon our lives as Children of God and set the stage for the birth of the Church.

The Journey into Jerusalem

In short summary, Jesus’s journey to Jerusalem was a preparation for the whole world to see the awe and wonder of the Father in Heaven through His Son. Jesus’ mission was to bring to light God’s love for His children through his own death and resurrection. His three- year journey amongst the people was to affirm the “Good news” of our Lord upon His entrance into Jerusalem. This was the calculated preparation Christ set forth to establish for the whole world (Jn 14:6, Mt 5 ff., Jn 6: 38-66). Jesus performed miracles (Mk 8:1-10; Lk 8:40-56); taught via parables (Mt 13:10-30) and explains to the Apostles via the Last Supper what will happen to him (Lk 22:7-23). These events provide us with a keen insight as to why Jesus wept upon his entrance into Jerusalem. We had failed to recognize who He is and what he had done; “would that even today you knew the things that make for peace.” (Lk 19:42)

Our own Journey to Jerusalem

Our spiritual entrance into Jerusalem signifies a willful desire to shun the desires of the world and instead offer ourselves as willing disciples to seek Christ and live out our baptism promises. The first step in our own spiritual journey is to prayerfully walk away from the bondage of sin (examination of conscience) and profess Jesus Christ crucified. This entails making a profession of faith which reflects our baptismal call. Let’s not forget that Jesus entered Jerusalem to initiate his own death for the sake of all.  Jesus’s desire for Jerusalem was to see the Father through the Son and renounce all and any actions that would turn anyone away from the love of the Father as revealed through His Son (Mt 23:27).  

Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem manifested the coming of the Kingdom that the King-Messiah was going to accomplish by the Passover of his Death and Resurrection. It is with the celebration of that entry on Palm Sunday that the Church’s liturgy solemnly opens Holy Week (CCC 560).

The second step of this journey is to recognize the dignity of every human being as a child of God and our responsibility to bring others to Christ especially through prayer and fasting. The premise of this step is to simply think of others before ourselves which reflects Christ Crucified. St. Gregory of Nazianzen provides with a fitting reminder of what our own spiritual journey to Jerusalem should look like:

 “. . . take up your cross and follow Christ. If you are crucified beside him like on og the thieves, now, like the good thief, acknowledge your God. For your sake, and because of your sin, Christ himself was regarded as a sinner; for his sake, therefore, you must cease to sin. Worship him who was hung on the cross because of you, even if you are hanging there yourself. Derive some benefit from the very shame; purchase salvation with your death. Enter paradise with Jesus, and discover how far you have fallen. Contemplate the glories here, and leave the other scoffing thief to die outside in his blasphemy.  

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