Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem – Matthew 21:1-11 – Summary and Meaning

1. Introductory prayer

I calm down and I feel the presence of God in me. I ask for the grace of the Holy Spirit to open the word of God, I accept it and allow it to fulfill my mission in me, in order to become more and more what I am in Holy Trinity. Then I ask God for this prayer, in my own words or with those that are here:

Lord Jesus Christ, be the king and ruler of our heart, mind, life, and home. May our lives reflect your meekness and humility so that you may come to all and bring your kingdom of God through us. Give us strength so that we will not only be with you in your glory but also in your service to every person, in your acceptance of rejection, hatred, shame, suffering of the innocent … Give us strength so that we can follow you on the way to Gethsemane, to the cross, to the tomb, and from the tomb to the resurrection.

2. Reading – Listening: Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem – Matthew 21:1-11

21 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

5 “Say to Daughter Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

Choose from a variety of T-shirts - See more...

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

3. Thoughts on the Gospel – Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem – Matthew 21:1-11

When Jesus went to Jerusalem, he knew what was waiting for him – he knew that betrayal, rejection, and crucifixion awaited him.

The Jews of Jerusalem hailed Jesus as their Messianic King! Few of them knew at that time what would follow after this solemn entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, and what it meant for them, for their life. Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem was a direct fulfillment of Zechariah’s messianic prophecy (Zech. 9: 9): “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

The donkey foal was a sign of peace. Jesus enters Jerusalem in meekness and humility as a messianic king who brings victory and peace to his people. This victory and peace will be assured on the cross and resurrection, which will happen in a few days during the Passover.

Sv. Augustine says of the significance of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem: “The teacher is Christ, who humbled himself and became obedient even to death, death on the cross. When he teaches us humility, he does not lose his deity … Christ was not the King of Israel to accurately determine the tax or equip the army with weapons and visibly defeat the enemy. Jesus was king of Israel in wisely ruling to lead those who believe, hope and love into the kingdom of heaven “For him to become king of Israel was an annihilation for him, not an advance, for he was already the Son of God, equal to the Father, the Word through which all things were done. It was a sign of mercy, not an increase in power.”

Jesus Christ came to bring us the Kingdom of God. He is a true king who offers peace, joy and eternal life to those who accept his kingdom.

4. Meditation – thinking

About everything I have read and what has touched me, I am thinking now. I let my thoughts also touch my heart. Think:

Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, he was accepted as king by the crowd, tomorrow they wanted a crucifixion for him. How could I accept Jesus into my life now, with the knowledge that we have a week ahead of when we follow Jesus in suffering and resurrection?

  • There comes a time when a determination is needed – and Jesus knew that his hour had come, so he was determined in his actions. For us, too, now is a time of determination. We are now called to give life and thus contribute to life, liveliness. In what kind of giving does Jesus invite us to today?
  • What would you like to donate to Jesus, so that he can take it and turn it into an Easter life?
  • Jesus remained awake at the time of suffering, that there might be a resurrection. We too are invited to watch, especially at this time.
  • To what, where does my behavior lead to decisions? And what drives the behaviors and decisions of the leaders now and in the future? I let Jesus show me more faces of time and in what face He is.

5. Personal Prayer

In the next moments of silence, I talk about this with Jesus. I tell him what I think, what I feel, what I want. I ask him for the grace that I need for … (make your conversation with God).

6. Contemplation – Quiet moment with God

Now I let silence be in me. I am simply present in God, as He is quietly present in me. Perhaps from this silence, I hear God’s speech, which invites me perhaps in thanksgiving and worship or to open myself and accept him in my path life and work, maybe He gives me the courage to continue searching for…

7. Action

When I walk into a personal relationship with God, he changes me, makes me more loving and encourages me to the concrete action, which is….. (write down your insights for concrete action).

8. Prayer at the end

Obedience to the Word empowers us to win in times of distress, not to listen to the crowds, who exclaim one today, the other tomorrow. Thank you, Jesus, for letting yourself be led. This has led you into suffering. You knew this was the only way to the resurrection, the celebration of life! Reason does not understand, but the heart trembles. You want to tell us that we do not need to understand because you will show us the importance of situations and events. Good God, thank you for inviting me to surrender to your heart because you are leading us. Please give me the admiration of your meek Love. To bring us from the grave to the resurrection, to life.

9. Review of my prayer meditation or reflection

This is my view on what was happening in me at the time, I spent praying. In my reflection, I can help myself with the following questions:

  • How was I feeling when I started praying?
  • What happened during the prayer?
  • What feelings and thoughts could I detect in myself?
  • How did I feel with the revelations, which I had during my prayer?
  • What did I learn about myself, about God, about his attitude towards me and others and me to him and others?
  • How did I finish my prayer?
  • What did I receive for my everyday life?
  • In the end, I can write the lessons, findings, and insights. I can write also, where I had problems, they may have great value in learning about my relationship and myself with God. They can also help to find a more appropriate way of prayer for me.
  • Then I thank the Holy Trinity. If I pray with my family or in the community, friends, I can share with them what I felt in this prayer. With a prayer for one another, you can support yourself throughout the week.

Lectio Divina meditations are published and adapted with permission from the Jesuits home –

Text from the Bible – New International Version (NIV)

Let us remain close in the same prayer! May the Lord bless you abundantly!