The gospel today begins with Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem. He was hailed as a King and was shown favor by the people.
However, in less than 1 week, many of the same people who just hailed and held him up as their Savior, would turn on Him and condemn him to death.
Are the people of 2000 years ago, much different than many of us today? How quickly we build people up, speak praises of them, in many ways become followers, or at least become their “so-called friends,” and then just as quickly, turn on them and tear them down.
Probably the most destructive action of our time, and the most prominent among our culture today is “Gossip:” The murdering of one’s reputation and character. Many people partake daily in gossip and don’t even realize the significance and sinfulness of their actions. They talk about others, distort facts, share private, personal, and often embarrassing information with others, all without a second thought and without any shame or guilt.
In a matter of minutes they have destroyed a person’s reputation, often without checking out any of the facts, often spreading lies and mistruths. Even speaking the truth about another person is often gossip, when doing so serves no particular purpose other than creating scandal.
Once the negative words have been spoken, the damage is done, it is irrevocable, and it can never be taken back. It is like the flowing waters of a flood, destroying everything it touches along the way, and even when the waters retract, the damage is left behind.
As Christians, we should have a mentality of always building up the body of Christ. So why do so many of us have difficulty showing God’s love and mercy to others, Judging instead of forgiving, Holding grudges instead of forgetting, Identifying their faults instead of looking for their good qualities, And tearing them down in other’s eyes instead of always propping them up.
Who would have ever thought that the crowd, which welcomed Jesus with such enthusiasm during his entry into jeruslem, would turn against him so quickly? Their welcome and shouts of praise for Jesus were only superficial. Their support for him was only skin-deep.
During the Lenten season, through our acts of sacrifice and charity, we have been attempting to discover in a deeper way, who Jesus Christ is for us. In the gospel proclaimed today, we have followed Jesus from the praises of Palm Sunday, through His passion, His suffering, and ultimately His death. For us Catholics, this week, Holy Week, continues the story of what we are, and who we are as a people.
This week for Catholics is the most Holy Week of the year.
Today is Palm Sunday; we celebrate that “First Joy” of the Lenten Season. We celebrate our Lord’s triumphant entrance into Jerusalem where he was welcomed by crowds worshiping him and laying down palm leaves before him. Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, with the ensuing greatest tragedy and sorrow of the year.
In a few days we will arrive at Holy Thursday – The most complex and profound of all religious observances, with exception only to Easter. Holy Thursday celebrates, as instituted by Christ himself, that of the Eucharist and of the priesthood. His last supper with the disciples, and the celebration of Passover,
He is the Self-offered Passover victim, and every ordained priest to this day, presents this same sacrifice, by Christ’s authority and command, in exactly the same way. The last supper was also Christ’s farewell to his disciples, some of whom would betray, desert, and deny him, all before the sun would rise again. Following Holy Thursday is Good Friday, when the entire church fixes her gaze on the cross at Calvary. Each member of the church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption.
In the solemn ceremonies of Good Friday, in the adoration of the cross, in the chanting of the “Reproaches,” in the proclamation of the passion, and in receiving the pre-consecrated Host, we unite ourselves to our Savior, and we contemplate our own death to sin in the death of our Lord.
Then…. The Easter Vigil. The night-vigil signifies Christ’s passage from the dead to the living by the liturgy that begins in darkness, representing Sin and Death, and is enlightened by the fire and the Easter candle, the light of Christ. The church, the mystical Body of Christ and the community of believers, is lead from spiritual darkness to the light of his truth.
We rejoice in Christ’s bodily resurrection, from the darkness of the tomb: we pray for our passage from death into eternal life, from sin into grace, from the weariness and infirmity of old age to the freshness and vigor of youth, from the anguish of the cross to peace and unity with God, and from this sinful world unto the Father in heaven.
We are now beginning Holy Week, a time for deep and sincere reflection on who we are, on our current relationship with Christ, and a time to embrace Christ’s passion.
Everything we are as Catholics rest upon this week. The week that includes Christ’s Passion, His Death, and ultimately His resurrection. It is a time for us to embrace our own passion, our own sorrows, our own troubles, our own crosses, and to die to the sinfulness of our lives. The sinfulness that all to often is rooted in Greed, Pride, Lust, and Envy.
If not done already this Lent, It is for Confession, a time to be freed from the shackles of sin. It is a time to unite our lives with Christ. It is a time to be resurrected with Christ. To be spiritually resurrected anew, awakened to His joy, His freedom, His power, and His Love.
His life is to become our life…
His life is to become our life…….