REFLECTION FOR TODAY
March 28, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
Those preceding him as well as those following kept crying out: “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come! Hosanna in the highest!” Mk. 11:9-10
As Jesus entered Jerusalem at the beginning of the first Holy Week, He was welcomed with much enthusiasm, and He accepted the love and devotion of those who welcomed Him. He was their King. He was the Messiah, and the welcome they gave to Him was but a pale gift of the true adoration He deserved.
And though Jesus entered Jerusalem with this glorious welcome, less than a week later He would leave Jerusalem with a heavy cross on His shoulders, carrying it outside the city walls to die. So, we see the paradox in the reception Jesus received because the same crowd who acclaimed Him king today will in few days’ time shout “crucify him!” This is the inconsistency of the human person. The crowd were people of “double tongues”.
When we contrast the entry of Jesus on Palm Sunday with His arrest, abuse, mock trial, carrying of the cross and death, these two extremes do appear to be at the opposite ends of the spectrum. There is rejoicing and praise as He enters, and sorrow and shock as He leaves. But are these two events all that different from a divine perspective? From the perspective of the Father in Heaven, the end of the week is nothing other than the ultimate culmination of the full glory of His Son.
Today’s passion narrative according to Mark challenges us to examine our own lives in the light of some of the characters in the story, like Peter who denied Jesus, Judas who betrayed Jesus, Pilate who acted against his conscience, Herod who ridiculed Jesus, the leaders of the people who preserved their position by getting rid of Jesus and the many who benefited from Jesus and yet joined the crowd to shout, “crucify him”. Which of these persons can we relate or identify ourselves with today?
As we enter into the holiest week of the year, it is essential that each of us see the journey of Christ this week as our own calling in life. We must journey toward the glory of the Cross with our Lord. From a worldly perspective, the Cross does not make sense. But from the perspective of the Father in Heaven, the Cross is not only the source of the greatest glory of His Son, but it is also the path by which we share in that glory. We must die with Him, sacrifice all for Him, choose to follow Him, and hold nothing back in our resolve to lay down our lives out of love.
Reflect, today, upon the events you will commemorate this week. Commit yourself to share in them, not just as an intellectual remembrance but as a living participation. How is God calling You to step forward in a sacrificial way out of love? How is God calling you to courageously embrace your calling to give your life away? Strive to see this week from the perspective of the Father in Heaven and pray that you will also see the ways in which the Father is calling you to imitate His Son. Let us go and die with Him, for it is in the Cross of Christ that we will discover His eternal glory.
Jesus, my glorious King, You are worthy of all praise and adoration. Hosanna to You, hosanna in the highest! Draw me into Your glorious passion, dear Lord, and help me to see the glory of Your Cross. As I see its glory, give me the grace I need to share more fully in Your life of transforming sacrificial love. Jesus, I trust in You.