The Lord GOD has given me
a well-trained tongue,
that I might know how to speak to the weary
a word that will rouse them.
Morning after morning
he opens my ear that I may hear;
and I have not rebelled,
have not turned back.
I gave my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who plucked my beard;
my face I did not shield
from buffets and spitting.
The Lord GOD is my help,
therefore I am not disgraced;
I have set my face like flint,
knowing that I shall not be put to shame. (Is 50:4-7)
Today is a horrible day. It is Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, the beginning of Holy Week.
I say it is a terrible day because of what it commemorates: the “selling out” of Jesus by a member of his inner circle and by the crowds in general.
Jesus was born to deliver a message. The message was quite simple: “I love you.”
To prove that God loved us, Jesus did many great things. He cured the sick. He restored sight to the blind, sound to the deaf, a voice to the mute. He expelled demons from those possessed. He even raised people from the dead.
And in the end? We killed Him for it. That’s right. We.
Our sins, as well as the sins of all those in the past and all those yet to come, nailed Jesus to the cross.
It gets worse, though.
The people who did that were people who hailed Him on his entry to Jerusalem. They shouted His praises as He entered the city. Then they turned on Him. They cursed Him not long afterwards, rejected Him, and crucified Him.
This is the week.
This is the week where we remember our sinful human nature.
This is the week when we get to make amends as well as to celebrate the victory won for us by Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection.
We are a fickle people. Palm Sunday/Passion Sunday truly reminds us of that reality. Mass opens with the crowd loudly shouting “Hosanna!” to the Lord. These same people, a very short time later, would be shouting all the louder, “Crucify Him!”
Do not reject the Lord today. Shout His praises rather than condemn Him.
FAITH ACTION: Do all that you can to enter into this Holy Week. Pray more. Go to church when you can. Try to make the services for the Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday/Easter Sunday). You will be a better person for it!