Arts & Faith: Lent—Palm Sunday Imaginative Prayer Exercise

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Each week of Lent, we’ll provide an Ignatian prayer for you, inspired by a video from Arts & Faith: Lent.

The video and prayer for Palm Sunday, Cycle C, are based on Luke 19:28–40. The art is Wilhelm Morgner’s Entry of Christ into Jerusalem.


Prepare for a period of meditation by sitting comfortably, closing your eyes, and breathing deeply for a moment or two. Allow any present concerns to move across your mind and wait off to the side for now.

The Crowd Gathers

Imagine that Jesus is coming down a street today near where you live. You do not yet see him—he is two or three blocks away—but you can tell it’s him because of the crowd gathering around him as he enters the neighborhood. You hear snatches of conversation up and down the street, people saying that it really is Jesus! Something in your heart and soul tells you, too, that it’s the one you know as Lord or Savior.

Before he comes into view, reflect on your own expectations. What do you hope he looks like? What kind of face, body, expression, hair, and clothing does he have? Do you want to see him arrive in a nice car, on a motorcycle, or on foot?

You can see that he is surrounded by people. Which people do you hope are with him? Which people do you hope are not with him—people you don’t want to be with?

And what do you hope he will say and do, when he comes close enough that you can witness it?

Now he comes near, and the crowd parts. What do you see?

What do you feel?

How do you react?

Concluding Prayer

Glory be to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning,
is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

If you’re receiving this via e-mail, click through to watch the video Arts & Faith: Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion.

About Vinita Hampton Wright 185 Articles
Vinita Hampton Wright has served as senior editor at Loyola Press for 16 years and recently became managing editor of the trade books department. She has written various fiction and non-fiction books, including the novel Dwelling Places with HarperOne, Days of Deepening Friendship and The Art of Spiritual Writing for Loyola Press, and most recently, The St. Teresa of Avila Prayer Book for Paraclete Press. Vinita is a student and practitioner of Ignatian spirituality, and from 2009 to 2015 she blogged at Days of Deepening Friendship. For the past few years, she has co-led small groups through the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises. She lives in Chicago with her husband, three cats, and a dog. In her “spare” time these days, she is working on her next novel.

4 Comments on Arts & Faith: Lent—Palm Sunday Imaginative Prayer Exercise

  1. Beautiful video interpretation and questions to reflect upon-thank you. I am curious about what the interpretation of what appears to be the donkey’s heart-might be? The painting is so rich with symbols and open’s one’s mind about the hope of being more fully human-in Christ.

  2. I picture Jesus arriving on foot…without the trappings of modern materialism. In his eyes I picture a luminous compassion which radiates from Him and warms the crowd around Him. This compassion is for all souls….every single one. Despite religious affiliation …political affiliation or any other “difference.” Healing would wash over us all and a revival in the truest since would occur in the hearts of us all…and we can simply stand together, breathe, unify and transcend sin and separation from Gods love.

  3. this reflection for Palm sunday is a real vibrant reading! I love the questions that vinita poses as though Jesus will stop and meet us on his road
    to Calvary! May this Holy Week be a blessing to you all.

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