Weekly Reflection (NEW!)
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
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I was at a seminar recently where the presenter was covering certain material, but would often stop to add his own thoughts. He began to talk about the passage you just read. He talked about the crowd who had gathered and was shouting, "Crucify him!" He pointed out that the crowd had gathered on Friday morning and a similar crowd had gathered on the Sunday before as Jesus rode in triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The presenter said, "When I get to heaven, I want to see a video of the crowd shouting for Jesus death. Then I want to see a video of the crowd that was shouting 'Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!' I want to see who was shouting praises on Sunday and condemnation on Friday."
Why did that the presenter want to know who participated in both events? What drives that curiosity? Why are we as humans so concerned about who is "out" and who is "in?" The truth is that we are so concerned about ourselves we transfer that concern to others in an effort to justify ourselves. But there is no justification. That presenter would have been present with the crowd on Palm Sunday shouting acclamations and with the crowd on Good Friday shouting condemnations. So would I. So would you. If there is such a video in heaven showing both events, the only faces we would see are the face of Christ and our own faces.
The crowd on Palm Sunday was hailing a person who was supposed to be their Messiah who should act according to their wishes. The people wanted a Messiah who kicks out the Romans and all those that the crowd thought should be out. The Messiah was supposed to be the one to tell the people that they were "in" and others were "out." Instead they received a Messiah who proclaimed that even though every person was guilty and deserved to be "out," all would be "in."
On Good Friday Christ stretched out his arms on the cross to embrace all. The Good News is that you are "in." Rest in that faith and tell others the Good News too.