“BEHOLD THE POOREST KING THAT EVER LIVED…”
📕Isa 50:4-7; Psalm 22:8-9, 17-18a, 19-20, 23-24 (R.v.2a); Phil 2:6-11; Mark 14:1 15:47
The above statement comes from the Stations of the Cross at the station where Jesus was stripped of his clothes. What does being poor mean here? It definitely does not mean poverty because another statement follows, “…Possessing nothing, I own all.” Hence that must be pointing to something in the neighborhood of one of the beatitudes that says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit…” (Matt 5:3)
So as we celebrate the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, which is otherwise known as Palm Sunday, we are called to reflect on a matter of great importance today – humility.
Are we really among the people that feel so important and need to be appreciated over the position of authority they occupy or what they are capable of doing? Do we see ourselves as people who have done so much for God through our faith and righteousness and so need to be repaid by God?
We really need to step down. Listen to what Jesus tells the Pharisees in the Lukan account of the triumphant entry into Jerusalem, when they told him to stop the crowd that was praising him, “I tell you, if they remain silent, the stones would cry out” (Luke 19:40). If God can raise lifeless things to do what we are doing, it shows that we are indeed PRIVILEGED to be doing it. So the approach should simply be that of HUMILITY (cf. Luke 17:10).
We must learn from Jesus who, though was in the form of God, did not cling to his equality with God but emptied himself to assume the position of a servant, a suffering servant at that (cf. Phil 2:6-11). He was hailed a king but he would stoop low later to wash the feet of his disciples. What a rare and unique figure!
It is likely this is that suffering servant that Isaiah earlier prophesied of (cf. Isa 50:4-7). He was unjustly attacked but he did not hasten to his own defense. He rather trusted himself to the protection of God because he understood that “our help comes from the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 124:8; see also Isa 50:7 and Phil 4:13).
We cannot really do anything without help from God. Why then shall we see ourselves as if everything depends on us for survival? May God give us the grace to embrace the attitude of the suffering servant of the Lord (Isa 50:4-11) in our daily living. Amen.
Have a happy Sunday, spent in humility with God. Peace be with you.