March 22, 2018
Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches
that they had cut in the fields. Then those who went ahead
and those who followed were shouting,
“Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! (Mark 11:8-9)
This Sunday is Palm Sunday when we reenact the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, seated on the back of a donkey, and surrounded by enthusiastic followers shouting with joy along the way. In the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, it is what he does next that seals his fate: he turns over the tables of the moneychangers and drives out those selling sacrificial animals to the Passover pilgrims. Jesus waltzed right into the seat of power and declared that the corruption of God’s house was ended, that the poor and dispossessed who came to offer sacrifice were not to be trampled upon any longer.
This Saturday, there will be many processions around this country, as people from all over, galvanized by February’s mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, march to the halls of power – whether the U.S. Capitol or a local City Hall – and declare an end to the death and mayhem wrought by an unfettered access to assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines. We will stand in solidarity with those who have, for years, been pleading for relief from gun violence on city streets; with those whose loved ones have died by suicide (2/3 of all gun deaths in this country); with those whose children have died in accidental shootings; with those killed in acts of domestic violence; and yes, with those killed in mass shootings.
There is a poignancy in the timing of the March for Our Lives, coming as it does just before Palm Sunday. Jesus entered the great city with his ragtag bunch of outcasts and took a stand against authority that cared more about preserving and perpetuating its own power than it did about those who suffered its effects. Groups of many different kinds of people from across America, having suffered the effects of official inaction on gun violence, are carrying a message to those with the power to make change: #enoughisenough.