Followers not Fans
Readings: Mk 11, 1-10; Is 50,4-7; Ps 22, 8-9.17-18.19-20.23-24; Ph 2, 6-11; Mk 14,1-15,47
The Word of God for us on Palm Sunday/Passion Sunday invites us to check ourselves and find out whether we are mere fans or true disciples of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ solemn entry into Jerusalem is greeted with “hosanna” which is a cry to the Savior: “Come and save us!” There is namely a lot to be healed in us all. Open wide the gates (of the heart) and let the King of Glory enter! (Ps 24,19)
Place for the Passover?
It is good to listen to the question of the Master before His trial: “Where is the place in your house where I am to celebrate the Passover?” The Lenten Journey we have made has enabled us to create more room for God and for the neighbor in our lives. The room that has been prepared is for the celebration of the Passover, a passing over with the Lord from our old ways to the new life of the resurrection. May the celebration of the Holy Week bring us transformation through the presence of the one we accord a place for the Passover!
Fans? Friends? Followers?
Jesus referred to those He called as “friends”. They left everything they had in order to follow Him. They had expectations. A moment came when their motivations had to be laid bare. The Passion narrative tells us that at His arrest they all left Him. One “sold” Him. Another “denied” any knowledge of Him and all the rest ran away from Him. What type am I? Am I a friend of Jesus only when things are going on well or can I persevere with Him up to the Cross? It is important to note that Jesus, unlike many human celebrities, doesn’t need fans but followers; those whose relationship with Him is so deep and strong so as to endure the awesome presence under the Cross. Only some women endured it. They watched from a distance when His twelve friends had disappeared. Let us remember that “a friend in need is a friend indeed!”
Can we hear the cry of the deserted ones?
The cry of Jesus at the Cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me!” was only heard by those who followed Him up to the Cross. Jesus had a God/Father to cry to. This assures us that God the Father was present but then, out of love for humanity, allowed His Son to die in order to save us. May our participation in the celebration of the Paschal Mysteries make us more attentive to the cries of the deserted ones in our midst! Let us not allow anybody to suffer loneliness! Let us hear the cries of people whose dear ones have disappeared! Let us hear the cries of all those who suffer torture and all forms of violence!
Passion and compassion?
In Jesus’ suffering (passion) we encounter the passionate love of God. He accepts the consequence of His mission of winning the lost children back to the Father. His solidarity with humanity made him descend into the bitterest human brokenness. His love (passion) leads him to be broken in order to heal all forms of brokenness. He was ready to suffer with us (Lat. cum-patire, compassion). He fulfilled His mission with passion; so let us also persevere in accomplishing the will of God and serve with love. As we contemplate Him nailed to the cross and yet still having good sentiments for His executioners, may we ask Him to free us from bitterness in our hearts when we are hurt! May our celebration of the Holy Week bring us more in touch with the love which enables us to forgive even the worst enemy!