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Becoming a new person – Palm Sunday 2023
If any word sums up Palm Sunday and its consequences it would be ‘fickle’. Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey, and is hailed by the people with cries of ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! But, we are told, it took just a week for crowds in the same city to call for his execution. And so Palm Sunday confronts us with the fickleness of human nature and our need for repentance. But ‘repentence’ truly defined is not just expressing a sense of regret or cloaking oneself in the mantle of shame – as if that were the end, the objective. For the Greek word used in the scripture is ‘metanoia’, which conveys far more than merely regret – and instead conveys the commitment to spiritual conversion – to change one’s heart and one’s life – to become a new person.
In today’s Gospel we have a series of comparisons, power vs authority, faith vs deceit, words vs deeds, trust as opposed to cynicism. And there is also a warning, that actions speak far, far louder than all the words in the world.
It is all part of Matthew’s continuing theme where the first shall be last, at least those counted first by worldly standards, and the last, first.
The parable in today’s gospel is usually called ‘The Labourers in the Vineyard’. On the face of it, we are told a fairly simple but slightly odd story about an employer who seems to have some difficulty with identifying how many workers he actually needs to bring in the harvest on his land.
The poem comes from ‘the state of us’ a first collection of poetry by Larry Doherty – ISBN: 978-1-5272-7173-9. Larry Doherty’s debut collection of poetry is eclectic, nuanced and powerful. It reflects his thoughts and feelings on life in these challenging, turbulent, watershed times.