I really meant to write this post a couple of days ago, but things just got too busy. Living in the world we now do, where attending Mass is for many people just a “thing to get out of the way” on Sunday, there is often grumbling on the Feast of the Passion of the Lord. I mean there are TWO Gospel readings, and the reading of the Passion is “SOOO long” as I heard more than one person muttered. Now, the rubrics say that the priest may give a homily after BOTH Gospel readings on Palm Sunday. I fear for any priest who tries to do that. However, it really is not appropriate to not preach at a Sunday Mass, so priest typically give what we call a “fervorino,” a brief homily to promote fervor for the Faith. Here is the jest of mine for this year:
What a difference a week makes. At the beginning of the week of the Passover celebration, Jesus enters Jerusalem to shouts of exaltation, as the people joyfully call Him king. By the end of the week they are shouting for him to be crucified. Why this reversal? Because Jesus was not going to be the type of King that they wanted Him to be. They wanted a King of their own liking, who would not challenge them on how to live. They did not want to set their sights on Eternal Life, but wanted a merely horizontal king, taking care of their material and political needs.
How often are we like the crowd in Jerusalem; praising the Lord when all is going our way, but rejecting and complaining when it is not “our will being done”?
Reversal is nothing new for the Christian. In Genesis we see God creating everything good, the first man and woman in a garden of paradise, where there is a tree. By their disobedience the fruit of that tree lead to death. At the end of Holy Week we see this reversed. Jesus is in a garden, not of paradise but of sorrow. His obedience lead Him to a tree of death, but the fruit of that tree is Eternal Life.
As we enter into Holy Week, may there be a reversal in our lives. May we reverse the disobedience of sin by which we shout for the crucifixion of Christ, into the shouts of obedience exalting Him as Christ the King, Victor.