As I reflected on the opening part of the Mass today, “The Commemoration of the Lord’s Entrance into Jerusalem” it came to me that there were five types of people, five groups that participated in Christ’s entrance.
There were his His followers, those who witnessed to His ministry for the past three years or so. Those who saw His miracles; heard His words; and yet time and again tried to keep from Jesus the annoying little ones who came to greet Him – or the sick and suffering who tried to touch him – thinking that He had more important things to do. Those who, if their hearts were opened to His message would not have been surprised by the events of the next seven days – but they were.
The Following Crowd
Then there were the people of the land who got caught up in the event that was Jesus. They might have witnessed a miracle of healing; they might have partaken in the miracle of the fishes and loaves – they were caught up in these physical acts. They were following a persona of greatness, one that they gave Jesus from their own hopes and dreams. They didn’t understand what His greatness was about.
The Inhabitants of the City.
Then there were the inhabitants of Jerusalem. These people who were used to the maneuverings and manipulations of government and church. They were sophisticated, wise to the world; or so they thought. They were shaken, as the gospel tells us, by this procession, this pseudo-invasion of the rustic followers of this upstart. There was no place in their scheme of life for someone to throw this type trouble into the mix of the politics of the day. This display disturbed their sensibilities and they were annoyed to have to deal with it.
Then there was Mary, she who said yes to God. She who understood the meaning of Christ; His life, His mission, His entrance into Jerusalem. She who in her quietness, praised God’s will louder than any. She trusted, and loved. She kept her fiat from conception to this day and beyond as she carried Christ’s cross within her heart.
Which brings us to the final group – ourselves. We who year after year enter into Holy Week and the Sacred Triduum listening to this entrance in Jerusalem; hearing about the how he was treated. So I have to ask myself, and you, what group do we fall into?
Do we enter into Holy Week only partly understanding what Christ has shown us throughout the year, indeed our lives. Do we only partially listen to His message not caring to really dig into it?
The Following Crowd?
Do we enter Holy Week expecting Christ do something for us, perform a miracle for our comfort instead of expecting Him to perform a miracle for our eternal salvation. Do we want immediate and material gratification – no more pain, no problems, things handed to us – instead of joining with Him to affect true peace and joy through salvation and the cross that achieves it?
The Inhabitants of the City?
Do we look at Holy Week as an interruption in our daily lives – almost a bother? Do we begrudge the time we spend at Church or at home in prayer? Do we chafe at the celebrations as taking us away from our work, friends, families ourselves?
Have we come to Holy Week and the Sacred Triduum with the obedient trust that she has with God? Do we desire to participate totally with our Lord in His Pasch? Not wanting to leave His side, always to be there and share with Him as He goes through His passion, death, and resurrection for us? Do we offer our own fiat to the Father as thanks and praise for Christ’s fiat and Mary’s?
Depending on where our hearts and our minds are as we enter Holy Week and the Sacred Triduum our understanding and participation to today’s greeting over the palms will very. I pray that each of us finds ourselves with Mary and take to heart this beautiful greeting where we hear:
“Therefore, with all faith and devotion,
let us commemorate
the Lord’s entry into the city for our salvation,
following in his footsteps…”
May Holy Week and the Sacred Triduum be a time of intense participation with our Lord for each of us.