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 A, are based on Matthew 21:1-11.
“The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!’”
As you begin this time of quiet prayer, I invite you to find a comfortable place to sit with your back straight and your legs planted on the ground. Take a few moments to breathe in and breathe out.
Spend this time centering yourself to listen to what God may be saying to you during this time of prayer, to listen to what rises up in your heart. Close your eyes for a few moments. As you sit with your eyes closed, use these or similar words: “Here I am, Lord. Here I am.” When you are ready, open your eyes and pray.
Happiness and Heartbreak
Imagine it’s a beautiful spring day. The sun is shining, the air is warm, and the sense of new life surrounds you. You are walking along a narrow path in a large city that you’ve visited many times. You love this place—the small, narrow streets crowded with people, the marketplace with its smells and noises. As you walk, you see a crowd forming along the street in front of you. It looks like they are lining the street for some reason. You wonder what’s going on, so you walk towards the street. When you get closer, you can hear people chanting, but you can’t make out the words. They seem to be waving something up and down.
When you get to the street, there are many, many people smiling and waving large palm branches. Some have put their cloaks on the ground. There must be some royalty or wealthy person coming, you think. You look down the street, and a few feet away is a man sitting on a donkey. He is waving to the crowd, but his face is so serious, almost sad. You get to the front of the crowd so you can see him more closely. He is in front of you and stops. He looks at you. You recognize him. It’s Jesus; he’s the one everyone’s been talking about. Jesus speaks to you. What does Jesus say? What do you say to Jesus?
Jesus lingers there for a few minutes. He seems like he wants to get off the donkey, to stay with you, to enter the main part of the city. But he doesn’t move. He sits there looking at you. The crowd’s voices get louder and louder. They are yelling out, praising him saying, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” But Jesus does not seem happy. He reaches down for your hand. You reach up and hold Jesus’ hand. What do you say to Jesus? What does Jesus say to you?
What time in your life did you feel both happiness and heartbreak? How did Jesus help you through it? Is there someone you want to bring to prayer on this Palm (Passion) Sunday who is experiencing happiness mixed with heartbreak?
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.
Read a transcript of today’s video here. The art is Giotto di Bondone’s Entry into Jerusalem.