In A Crisis, Will You Stand With Our Lord or Flee in Anger or Disappointment ?
The time of Passover and Palm Sunday were the ‘good times’ for our Lord Jesus Christ. As the Gospel of John (John 12: 20-33) tells us, at the Passover Feast, some Greeks asked Philip of Bethsaida, “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.” And then there is the “hero’s welcome” that Jesus received upon entering Jerusalem: As He road in on a donkey, people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy (palm) branches that they had cut from the fields…and they cried out, “Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; hosanna in the highest.” (Matthew 21: 8-9)
Jesus Christ was at the height of His public ministry. Word had spread of his teachings and miracles. People wanted to know him and be with him…they had high expectations of Jesus.
In an Instant, Everything Changed!
Hours later, everything changed! Jesus was arrested by the Sanhedrin, sentenced by Pontius Pilate and ultimately condemned to death before Caiaphas.
As for all those who wanted to see Jesus and those who welcomed him into Jerusalem – most of them abandoned him! Even Peter and the other Apostles either fled or denied knowing Him…you know the story.
What Would You Do?
Ignatian Spirituality (named for St. Ignatius of Loyola) teaches a way of praying that involves using our imagination to enter a scene of the Gospel and placing ourselves either as an observer or as one of the participants in the story.
Imagine being one of those people waving branches as Jesus enters Jerusalem…you are excited and filled with joy! Just a few hours later, you find out that Jesus is on his way to Calvary. Would you continue to follow and believe?
Will You Hold Onto Your Faith in God or Run Away?
When we are riding high, feeling blessed and everything is going our way, it is very easy to show our love for Our Lord. It is very easy to appreciate him and celebrate our faith in God.
But when something happens to cause us grief, pain or major disappointment – especially if we feel we did nothing to deserve it – we can get angry. We can turn away from Our Lord…we can abandon him!
In addition, when the bad tiding involves other people, we can also turn our backs on them, get angry, withhold our love, and walk away. In the midst of a major crisis, we can be quick to forget the ‘good times’ – all the blessings and the times of grace.
Always Trust in God
The next time you are faced with a major challenge that takes the wind out of your sails and causes you to question your faith (God) or to lose faith in another person; spouse, family member or friend – ALWAYS remember to trust in God….”Do not fear; I am with you,” (Isaiah 41:10)
At a recent Mass, Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller had the ushers hand out a small card to everyone present. The card, which I keep with me at all times, reads, “Trust Me. I have everything under control….signed, Jesus.”
As evidenced by the Resurrection and the Empty Tomb, Our Lord Jesus Christ had to be crucified, so that we might live! Christ’s Passion reminds us that our baptism is not only about the joy of welcoming Jesus Christ, it is about believing in him, trusting in him and being faithful to what he has revealed to us through the Scriptures and the Church.
To believe is an act of the will. Choosing now, will help us to know the way when our walk to Calvary comes. Our purpose in this life is to know, love and serve God so that we can be happy now and forever.
We invite you to stop by the Pilgrim Center of Hope, during regular business hours (M-F, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm) to spend a few moments of personal reflection with Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament at Gethsemane Chapel. Consider coming by on your lunch break. You can also pick up pamphlets, books and spiritual tools designed to guide you closer to Christ. For more information visit PilgrimCenterofHope.org