Thursday, May 31, 2018
On Palm Sunday, the Jerusalem crowd shouted words of praise … When Christ came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” – Luke 19:37-40
In contrast, on Good Friday, the Jerusalem crowd shouted words of disdain … “Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate, knowing it was out of self-interest that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead. “What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them. “Crucify him!” they shouted. – Mark 15:9-13
How a crowd can be swayed and even more easily a mob!
How many times in history must we observe this phenomenon before we gain insight into the group dynamics of a like-minded crowd? Slowly the like-minded crowd takes on the personality of its leader, sometimes for the good, sometimes for the bad.
The followers of Christ, though surely a number were misunderstanding His mission, were filled with hope and exaltation of Divine Mercy. The followers of the High Priest were coaxed into words of destruction and human condemnation. The Hosannas of the crowd were songs of hope, the Crucify Him cries were dirges of fear.
Is my life filled with resounding hope, a clarion call to better ways to come? Or is my life filled with desperate fear, a darkened call to our lesser angels?
I have chosen to become a singer in the gathering of Hosannas, though at times, I find so many urges to not do so. I will be an angel of hope even when it seems so hopeless.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz