He wept for Jerusalem the holy city with the Temple at it’s heart, which had turned so far from God. Jesus had just raised his friend Lazarus (a name meaning God has helped) from the dead and now He enters Jerusalem on a donkey, through the King’s gate in a very public fulfilment of the prophecy of Zechariah (9:9) “Rejoice greatly O daughter of Zion, Shout in triumph daughter of Jerusalem. Behold your king has come to you. He is just and carries salvation. He is lowly and riding on an ass and the colt the foal of an ass.”
So Jesus comes to Jerusalem with the prophecy fulfilled to the last detail and the poeple recognise this and come out shouting for Him, their king, the son of David. Within a week they will have forgotten their palms and songs of joy and will be shouting at the Roman Procurator to “Crucify Him!”
So it will be for our new Holy Father. He has entered the Vatican to shouts of joy even from those who have shown themselves to have no heart for God. How humble he is, they cry and see how he loves the poor.
But soon there will be shouts of hatred as they realise that yet again the Pope is, in fact, Catholic. There’s been a few of those shouts already.
As Jesus entered Jerusalem that fateful day the people singing “Hosanna!” had decided what kind of Messiah they wanted. They had their own idea of a king. Like the media today they put out the sort of things they expected the King Messiah to do. He must make reforms, get rid of the Romans, change the Law perhaps.
But Jesus had already said He wasn’t going to change the Law, He was going to fulfil it. The people soon tired of a man who kept speaking the truth and was doing what God wanted rather than what those who considered themselves elite wanted.
Pope Francis will face the same as the palms laid out for his inaugoration wither, so will the media’s sentimentality. He will still be the Pope for the poor, but they will hate the fact he insists the poor have a right to be born.
I have to say, however difficult it gets for Pope Francis, and even if he must bear the wounds of Christ in the most difficult way; more difficult than his namesake St. Francis even, he does have a massive advantage. He has the prayers of his brother in Christ Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. There’s also the sense that Blessed Pope John Paul II is looking down on them with his prayers. The brother popes knelt together in the chapel to pray and there on the wall was a copy of Our Lady of Czestochowa with the Divine Child. As the original Icon has stood the test of many evil men and been victorious, there is a sign for the future- whatever it brings.
There’s an old saying that it’s easy to break one stick, but bind three sticks together and they cann’t be broken.