We have spent the previous weeks of Lent reflecting within, looking at ourselves. Now, this Holy Week, we look at Jesus. We focus our attention on Him. We don't just read about His passion and death this week, we enter into it. Today, He enters Jerusalem, and we go with Him.
"The very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and strewed them on the road. The crowds preceding him and those following kept crying out saying: 'Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.' And when he entered Jerusalem the whole city was shaken and asked 'Who is this?' And the crowds replied, 'This is Jesus the prophet, from Nazareth in Galilee"(Matthew 21: 8-11).
The people were very excited to see Jesus. They heard all these awesome stories about Him, how He heals the sick and performs miracles, how He speaks powerful words of life and love and forgiveness ... and now He's right in front of them. He is greeted so enthusiastically and is praised and loved by the people. We are these people. We put ourselves there this week, at every step.
Today we shout "Hosanna!" Friday we will shout "Crucify Him!" How quickly we turn on Christ, and turn back on ourselves. But Jesus already knows this. Jesus enters Jerusalem amidst the shouts of honor and praise knowing that these same people will turn on Him and scream for His death in a few days ... and He loves us anyway. He dies for us anyway. He knows how fickle our humanity is. He knows how weak we really are, how selfish we really are, and He knows we won't always appreciate the sacrifice He's about to make for us. But He makes it anyway. God loves us. And this week, He proves it!
So let's reflect today on how often we turn on Christ too. How often are we "Christian" when things are going well but abandon Christ when things don't go our way. As long as we see the miracles and answered prayers we Praise Him, but if not? How strong is our faith really? When the cross comes into our lives, what do we do?
It’s time to follow Christ. It’s time to step away from the crowd, a crowd that only pays Him lip service when things go well. It’s time to follow Jesus, to the end. A time to be in the world, but not of it. A time to concern ourselves with the things of Heaven because Heaven is our true Home.
Let's pray in a new way today. Let's look at Holy Week in a new Light. Let's see ourselves among the people and ask ourselves the really deep questions our hearts need answered. Let's grow in love and faith. When we enter into Holy Week with our whole heart, we enter into Christ's passion and death, and in the process of appreciating Him, find amazing graces for ourselves.
May God Bless you and everyone near and dear to you this Holy Week. In Jesus' name. Amen.