The Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem

Then they went on to Jerusalem. Near the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent ahead two of his disciples, saying “Go into the next village. As soon as you enter the village you will find a young donkey that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it to me. If anyone asks you why you are doing this, say ‘The Lord needs it, and will send it right back.'”

The two disciples left and did as Jesus had asked them. They found everything as he had told them they would.

This fulfilled the prophecy that was spoken by Isaiah, which said “Tell daughter Zion, ‘See, your King is coming to you, riding humbly on a donkey’s colt!'”

His disciples did not recognize the significance of what was going on at the time. However, after Jesus was raised from the dead, they remembered this prophecy and that it had been fulfilled in their presence.

They returned to Jesus, laid their cloaks on the donkey, and helped Jesus up so he could sit on it. The crowds began to place their cloaks and leafy branches from the nearby trees on the road.

When he approached the path that went down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd began to loudly praise God because of all the miracles they had seen, such as the miracle of Lazarus being raised from the dead. They were chanting “Hosanna! Blessed is the King who comes on the name of the Lord! Praise God in heaven!”

Some of the Pharisees said “Teacher, make your followers be quiet!” Jesus answered, “Even if they were to be quiet, the stones would speak for them!”

When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was abuzz, saying “Who is this?” The crowds with Jesus answered “This is the Messiah, the Son of David, our King!” The Pharisees were very angry, realizing that all they had done to discredit Jesus hadn’t worked. They said “Look! The whole world is following him!”

Because it was late, Jesus and his followers briefly looked around at everything in the Temple area and then went out to Bethany.

MT 21:1-11, JN 12:12-19, MK 11:1-11, LK 19:28-40

Mary praises God (The Magnificat)

Mary then said, “I proclaim the greatness of God from the depths of my being, and my spirit rejoices in God who is my Savior, because God has looked with favor on me, a lowly servant girl. From now on every generation will call me blessed because the Mighty One has done great things for me, and his name is Holy. God’s mercy is eternal for those who respect and honor him. He has done mighty things with his arm – he scatters those who are proud, he has overthrown the rulers and lifted up the meek, he has provided a feast for the hungry, while sending away the rich empty-handed. God has remembered his promise to be merciful and has helped his servant Israel, just as he promised to Abraham and all of his descendants.”

Mary stayed with Elizabeth until just before John was born.

LK 1:46-56

Focus – on management and praise

Oprah Winfrey says that what you focus on expands, and this is extremely important to appreciate when it comes to dealing with people. Whether you are a teacher or a manager, this approach can make all the difference.

One of the best things you can do is praise someone when they are doing something good. Even if what they are doing is their everyday task, praise them. If you are a manager, you could tell them you appreciate that they make it a priority to come in on time, use their time well, are polite to the customers. Don’t wait to praise them for extraordinary acts. If the only time you speak to them is to tell them what to do and when they have done it wrong, you won’t ever see exceptional work.

Praise costs nothing, and reaps huge dividends.

Consider dog training. If you only give attention and energy to the dog when it is making a mistake or performing an undesirable action, that is all you will see. Not just because that is where your attention is, but also because that is where he is getting your energy. Dogs, like people, want energy. If they can’t get it in a positive way, they will seek it in a negative way. Being yelled at for doing something wrong is still better than being ignored for doing something right.

You may think “Why should I praise someone for doing their job?” Because that is your job. That is what a manager is supposed to do. Managers aren’t just there to direct traffic – they are there to make sure things go smoothly. Praise is the grease that oils the wheels.

One of the worst things you can do is tell your staff you are going to send “mystery shoppers”. This makes them feel threatened. It encourages them to act better only out of fear. Fear is a terrible motivator. If you have to use mystery shoppers, have them only report when a staff member is doing a good job. It doesn’t have to be exceptional. It just has to be good. If you do that, it will encourage them to be good for the sake of getting caught being good. There will be a benefit, a payoff, a reward for doing good work.

Singling out one or two people for praise out of a large group is great for those few people and terrible for the rest of the team. If ten people out of three hundred get awards or recognition, then what does that do to the morale of the rest of the group? Consider what they do in Special Olympics. Everybody gets an award.

Make awards and recognition meaningful and specific. If everybody gets the same award, then it becomes meaningless. People like to be noticed for their differences and individuality. If you pay attention to how they are special, they will feel appreciated and noticed. They will cease being a cog in the machine.

Every day is the Sabbath.

We are told to keep the Sabbath holy, but which day is that? Is it Sunday, as most Christians observe, or is it Saturday, as Jews and Seventh-Day Adventists observe, or is it Friday, as Muslims observe?

The early Christians decided to set aside Sunday to worship because that is the day that Jesus rose from the tomb, and they were getting a lot of flack from the Jews. They were convinced that Jesus was the Christ, so in their minds they were simply Jews who had found the Messiah. The Jews didn’t agree that Jesus was the fulfillment of the prophecies, so they chased them out of their synagogues. So the Sabbath got shifted a day. The Seventh-Day Adventists are Christian but follow the original Jewish Sabbath observance. Then we have Muslims, who pray every day but choose Friday as a special day of observance. It isn’t seen as a special day of rest so much as an obligatory day of prayer.

But then we have Psalm 118:24 “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Holman Christian Standard translation)

I tell you that every day is the Sabbath. Every day is a day to remember that God made you and everyone else and everything. Every day is a day to give thanks for all the many blessings of this life. Every moment of every day is a time to be filled with the knowledge and love of God. It is good to live your life full of thankfulness and awareness of God.

Why wait for only one day a week to praise God? Why wait for only one day a week to uplift your soul? Every moment can be a time of communion with God, even in the middle of a routine transaction at work. God is constantly seeking us, constantly desiring for us to be in communion with him. You don’t have to quit your job and join a monastery or a non-profit to focus your heart and mind on God. It can be done right now, right where you are.