Sunday’s Solemnity of the Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord perfectly illustrated that incongruity. On that Sunday, we began by echoing the hosannas, the hoorays of the people of Jerusalem as the Lord Jesus enters the city.
But, by Friday, Good Friday, we will be confronted with our complicity in the injustice, fear, selfishness and hatred which led to the Lord Jesus’ crucifixion.
We welcomed the Christ of Victory, the Christ of Palm Sunday. But we so often turn our backs on the Christ of Good Friday -- the Christ who suffers, the Christ who is humiliated, the Christ who forgives.
On Palm Sunday, we could have thought of those palm branches as symbols of our hypocrisy, not of our fidelity to the Lord Jesus Christ. Those palm branches we carried were symbols of the discrepancy between the faith we profess on our lips and the faith we fail to live every day.
Yet, in the Mystery of Christ's Death and Resurrection, by walking with Christ through Holy Week -- with or without palm branches -- we find the canyon filled, the gap closed, the incongruity erased -- because, by His suffering for us, we are reborn in the life and love of God.
Academicians, please make every effort to go to accompany the Suffering Christ and His People in your various Parish Churches on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this Holy Week. Worship Our Lord and refresh your personal living of Our Lord Jesus' attitude of compassion and His spirit of servanthood. Then, please bring the forgiveness, life and hope of His Easter Mystery into your own home, family, and job.
God bless you! Have a powerful Holy Week!
"The Assistant Headmaster"
Father James J.M. Reynolds, STL