They cheered His entry into Jerusalem like He was a king, paving the road with palm branches. Days later they jeered at Him as He was brought before them by the secular government. They requested his execution and mocked Him as He hung on the cross.
Sunday begins the most holy week of the year with Palm Sunday. This is one of hardest liturgies for me, second only to Good Friday. Going from the ultimate high of praise to the lowest of disgust in less than an hour is hard to wrap my brain around. And then to read the part of the crowd in the gospel and having to say those horrid words: “Crucify Him!” It is very easy in 2017 to say that we wouldn’t be like the people in that crowd who changed their minds and attitudes so quickly. But in reality, the worst part, is that I do that on a daily basis.
It’s not nearly as dramatic as the gospel readings, but when you think about it, every prayer that’s praising God, is like the triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Every time we choose our own way and say ‘no’ to God, we call for His crucifixion. The Glory Be is one of my favorite prayers and I often say it, especially when things are going well. But I am human, and for as many times as I try to do what’s right and what God wants of me, there’s at least an equal number of times that I fall short of that.
It often seems that temptations surround me during holy week. Perhaps I am paying more attention to my thoughts, words and actions after participating in the Palm Sunday gospel. Maybe it’s that I’m trying more because I want to celebrate Easter with as clean of a soul as I can. I do take comfort in the words of Jesus in Luke’s account of the passion: “Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing.” (Lk: 23:34). As in all things, the more you put your time/effort/energy into it, the more you will receive.
May you be blessed with His grace as you journey with Jesus through the triumphant entry and along the way of the cross this holy week.