We enter Holy Week like we never have before! These are strange and unprecedented times for us. The Coronavirus has certainly made its impact across the world. The power of how we react to all we experience is up to us. As quickly as this virus has placed many into isolation, away from school and work, and at arm’s length from one another, the one thing it cannot take away is how we react to it. Hence, we must search and ponder the positive in this situation.
Thus, goes Holy Week! We proclaim and powerfully remember the triumphal entry of Jesus into the sacred city of Jerusalem. He was hailed and acclaimed by many. At the same time, there was an undercurrent of those who were plotting against him. Jesus’ goodness drew so many to his side and to others they wanted to see his life end. Yet, we keep in mind that as palm branches welcomed him a cross is waiting for him.
So, what we have is the ultimate juxtaposition. We begin our Palm Sunday liturgy usually singing Hosanna and waving palm branches, and only moments later shout out “Crucify Him.” The liturgy is set-up this way to represent a humanity that is fickle and precarious. The reality of this situation has been relived throughout generations to this very day. Betrayal, trust, friendship power, humility, hubris, manipulation, denial and deceit are just a few themes at work in our Gospel today.
All of us have at one time or another felt the betrayal, manipulation, or deceit of another. The feelings that these themes stir in us can consume and draw us into ourselves. How we overcome such situations cannot be done on our own. We have the great gift of faith that tells us Jesus is with us even in and through his death. My time with the Lord these past few weeks has stirred up quite a bit from my life. When you have more “down time” and you begin to ponder, God at some point will bring up those moments or parts of our life that we are called to strengthen and at other times the parts of our life we have difficulty accepting. We are not whole but are striving for completion. This is only done through the working of Jesus in our lives who gives us the ability to make amends with ourselves and others.