Hosanna Mama

Jolly Hormillosa // Scripture: A Mother's Lens


March 23  

My four-year-old races into the kitchen with a branch in his hand and shouts, “They all began to shout and cheer, ‘Hosanna, Hosanna, Jesus is HERE!’” It is the line from his favorite bedtime Bible storybook that I have read to him countless times this past week. 

Then he stopped suddenly. “What does Hosanna even mean?” “Well, it is said during a time of triumph and celebration,” I respond hastily, wiping the counters without looking up. My child is pointed and direct about everything. He pushes up against my leg, “But what does it mean?” He presses. Okay, a quick Google query and the definition is more exact. “Pray, save us is the biblical meaning, son.” This definition made perfect sense to him, and he skipped back outside satisfied. 

But there I was in the kitchen now reliving the scene from the story I had heard since I was a child myself. The crowd asked for saving . . . then crucified him. What kind of saving were they asking for, this crowd who was well aware of the miracles Jesus could perform, but did not have a Passion Friday in mind? 

They were asking for external results: for political saving that would offer less affliction, less poverty, and a life of ease and prosperity. They were interested in what Jesus could do for them to ensure quick outcomes. Their cry for salvation was a plea for Jesus to be ultimately useful and undeniably powerful—making their material world smooth, stable, and victoriously predictable. 

Then I think of Jesus riding on a donkey—the one . . . who humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Phil 2:8).

The people of Jerusalem had no perception of how he was giving himself to rescue their souls for eternity. They rejected his desire to give his life to become their bread of sustenance, their very life. He wanted to dwell in their hearts, and encourage them daily with his spirit. He wanted to enable them to love their enemies genuinely and to flourish in the face of any circumstances. 

Their problem was they had wanted too little from the Son of God. They had cried out “Hosanna,” asking for only a bandaid packaged in triumph and celebration, not even scratching the surface of the unmet desire within to be saved from oneself.

And this gives me pause and perspective.

How often am I the one whom Jesus hears crying, “Hosanna, Hosanna!” As a mom of six, in a tumultuous world, how often do I cry out—just shouting for external results that I can measure: my children’s performance? My children’s health? My bank account? A predictable schedule? 

Ahh, but Jesus loves me more than my shallow cry. He sees the deepest need and weeps for me like he wept over Jerusalem. He invites me into life IN him. He asks me to come by way of the cross and to let my heart be broken and given like his. 

I am invited into this long game of love—of genuine Hosanna-salvation . . .  

-When my child struggles with a weakened immune system. 

-When one of my children cannot perform academically the way I would expect. 

-When my child rebels, and wanders far from the stable ground of faith. 

-When all my efforts go unseen, and I feel insignificant.

-When the budget is tight, and the calendar brims unwieldy. 

-When I feel ordinary and less-than-triumphant.

I am being called to humble myself and become obedient to the point of death . . . of dying to my desire for mere external outcomes only. Even now, this Holy Week, I am being invited into the passionate mystery of Christ—to let my “Hosanna” mean that I want Jesus to save every part of me. Eucharistic living here in my mom-moments is the gateway to the Easter promise that lovingly awaits!

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