A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Hero on a white horse

At one point in the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark, when the situation looks bleak, the hero suddenly appears on a white horse and rides forth as crowds cheer.

Across the world, “a man on a white horse” is the classic expression for the one whom the people seek to save them from a bad, complex situation

In today’s Palm Sunday Gospel account of our Lord’s triumphant entrance into Jerusalem (Mt. 21:1-11), the people are greeting our Lord as the definitive hero on a white horse.

But he is not on a white horse: our Lord rides into town in a precarious and undignified fashion.

The people go along with it - someone says it is a fulfillment of prophecy – but within a matter of days, the crowd will turn against him.

It turns out that he was not the hero on a white horse they thought he was.

He is infinitely greater. He is the Savior. He is the Lord. And through suffering and even indignity he has taken away the sin of the world and brought eternal salvation.

Do we look for heroes on white horses? Do we see ourselves as the next great hero on a horse?

The truth is: we’re more like asses– at best. Christ is the savior of the world – not any one of us, not even the most charismatic leader or zealous advocacy group.

I use the word “ass” not so much as a term of disparagement as rather a job description: we are beasts of burden, we are servants, our function is to support Christ – not that he needs our help, but he calls us to do it.

We should not be looking for a hero on a white horse. All of us – from high to low - should rather aspire to be the very best beasts of burden that we can be: in service to Christ, the savior of the world.