hand holding palm

© Master Artist Gordon Daugherty. Used with permission.

This week from Palm Sunday on, we have been walking with Christ. We were told in Sunday’s first Gospel from Matthew that the disciples were instructed by Jesus to get the owner of a donkey and a colt to give them to him. They were to say, “The Master has need of them.” This would be tantamount to saying to a total stranger, “The Master needs the keys for your new Ford Mustang and your motorcycle. Because the Master has need of them.” The amazing thing is that the owner gave them both!

This week, I’ve been noticing the importance of my own consent to God’s call, to God using my gifts and talents, but also my own quirkiness, insecurities, even sin. Why? Because the Master has need of them. I know that I’m in a relationship with the Master that involves a vow of obedience. And generally, I want to give that. But I would prefer that it be more general, not the actual parts of me that demand inconvenience. Not the parts that I’m embarrassed about. I’d rather not be that “out there” with my clumsiness, or my lack of noticing details. (Just ask the brothers with whom I live! They’d be happy if I would lose some of those!) I’d rather hold back other aspects too, that right now, keep me comfortable and feeling in control.

But, when we hear that the Master has need of them, let’s allow our hearts to melt. We know this One who walks with us through all our disasters and suffering. And also our joys. What is God asking of you and me this Week? Do I notice a part of me quietly betraying Jesus in favor of an easier, softer way? Where am I when He gives His body as bread? Do I want to run away with the other disciples? Can I stay awake with Him? Will I hang out around a fire with the beautiful people, like Peter, and deny that I ever knew Him? Am I like Simon, the African from Cyrene, who helps Him carry that heavy crossbeam?

The people of Jerusalem ask, “Who is this?” Who is this Master who has need of our gifts, quirks, our disabilities at this moment. This naked, broken, bleeding man is the One who gives all our suffering and lives meaning. All we need is simple consent to letting God use us in the moment. God, it seems, will do the rest.

–Fr. Mark Soehner, OFM