This week’s reading come from Luke’s Gospel 19: 28-40, Isaiah 50: 4-7, Psalm 22, Paul’s letter to the Philippians 2: 6-11 and Luke’s Gospel 22:14-23:56.
Yes, this week we have a bunch of readings and we the congregation has a part during the later Gospel reading. We hear about suffering this week but it all begins with Joy. One would expect that Holy Week would be all about the solemnity that ends the week but we begin with the joy of the entrance into Jerusalem with the crowds shouting “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord” and spreading out their cloaks over the road. These same people would most likely be in that crowd of people at the end of the week who are clamor for Barabbas to be released and shout “Crucify him” when Pilate asks what to do with Jesus. We are the crowd cheering for Christ when he arrives but we all end up like Peter and denying that he knows Jesus even though there are people around him saying I saw you with Jesus. Sure the heart of the Mass is the Last Supper but we live our lives like it’s Good Friday/Holy Saturday not knowing what will happen to Jesus. Often times we keep our religion a secret doing about an hour on Saturday or Sunday and then forgetting about it over the week. We need to live our faith our in the world, Jesus taught us how to do this through the works of mercy. In this Year of Mercy we should be reminded of Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Dives in Misericordia which says “Jesus Christ taught that man not only receives and experiences the mercy of God, but that he is also called to practice mercy towards others.”