ColumnsNaming Grace

The Master has need of us!

Several of our adult children and a few of our older grandchildren took pity upon us this past weekend by boxing, lifting and hauling load after load to prepare for a move. It’s grunt work, better suited for beast than man or woman. Without each family member’s sweat, cleaning out our house would be nearly impossible. But we were in need, and thankfully, they responded.

We open Palm Sunday’s liturgy with Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and we discover his need. Jesus asks two of his disciples to secure “a colt” for his trip into Jerusalem. If questioned for taking the colt, they are to reply, “The Master has need of it.” Why would Jesus need a colt? His entry on a colt marks the fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy (9:9): “Behold: your king is coming to you, a just savior is he, humble, and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Jesus needed a colt, a young donkey, a work animal, to carry him into Jerusalem — to complete his mission as king of the Jews.

The Master continues to be in need — dependent upon us to complete his mission. Jesus needs parents/grandparents/Christians to rise up and carry Him into our homes, neighborhoods and communities. Far from glamorous, responding to Jesus’ need often requires hard labor and heavy lifting. Our Christian journey calls us to sacrificial love through our physical presence. The master has need of us!

We carry Jesus into our homes and name grace — God’s merciful presence — by:

Laying down social media devices, turning off the television, and reading, talking, and praying with our children even though we’re bone tired from a hard day’s work. The Master has need of us!

Loading up the kids and hauling them to Mass, Sunday after Sunday, when we’d rather sleep in after a long work week. The Master has need of us!

Lugging groceries over to an elderly parent’s house and helping with dinner after an eight-hour shift. The Master has need of us!

Packing meals for a local food pantry when we’d rather stay home or enjoy an evening out with friends. The Master has need of us!

Hauling a load of necessities to the poor during spring break when a leisurely vacation sounds so much better. The Master has need of us!

The Master’s need may feel like a heavy burden, yet when we realize it is Jesus who carries us, the labor becomes light.

When done in love, the hard work fills us with joy. This past weekend, though our muscles ached from packing and hauling, we were also laughing and reminiscing.

On Palm Sunday, we enter our Lord’s Passion, where we recognize the depth of his love — the sacrifice of his flesh. We feel the leather straps seared into his back; the thorns forced onto his head; the cross pressed onto his shoulder; the spikes driven into his hands. Yet we also turn toward resurrection. When we receive Jesus in the Eucharist, we remember our Lord’s incomparable sacrifice and our need to take his infinite, hope-filled, love into the world. The Master has need of us! Now, that’s good news!

Where does Jesus need you to take him today?

How do your children experience Jesus in the flesh?

Naming Grace in the Domestic Church reflects on Scripture through the lens of a parent/grandparent. To connect with Mary: