In the gospel, Jesus reminded us that we can only know God the father through him. To know God, we need to follow Jesus’ example of life. In the first reading from the Prophet Zacharia, we saw what is generally a reference to the coming of the Messiah when the prophet said: “See, your King shall come to you; … riding on an ass, on a colt, the foal of an ass”. This prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus’ life while on earth when in obedience to his father, he rode on an ass to Jerusalem. Among other things, Jesus’ riding on an ass signified his humility in obedience to his father.
Dearest sisters and brothers, today or (this weekend) we celebrate our nations independence. It is a day to reflect together as a people on God’s love for us and on how we have responded to God. It will be obvious to any sane person looking at our nation that we have been extra-ordinarily blessed. When we think of all the blessings the Lord has bestowed on us as a people, we cannot but always be grateful to him.
To be grateful to God means that we have to humbly follow his way as Jesus taught us. Perhaps, in the words of Ronald Reagan in the 1988 Republican Convention in the New Orleans, I will ask us once more: “when our children turn the pages of our lives” did we pass on to them “a nation as nearly perfect as we could, where there’s decency, tolerance, generosity, honesty, courage, common sense, fairness, and piety” and the like?
It will never be possible for us to pass on any of these virtues unless we take into heart Paul’s admonition in the second reading: “you are not in the flesh; on the contrary, you are in the spirit, if only the Spirit of God dwells in you. If you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live”. It is only a life led under the guidance of the Spirit rather than the flesh that will live these virtues of decency, tolerance, generosity, honesty, courage, common sense, fairness, and piety”. Christ in his humility has given us the example. Let us imitate him so that we can live fully in the grace of God’s Spirit.