Sunday, March 29, 2015

The hypocrisy of the crowds: Palm Sunday

(Listen to this homily here).

            Something haunts me every Palm Sunday—the crowd. 
            As we started Mass in the gathering space, we heard the crowds proclaim, “Hosanna!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”  In the passion narrative the crowd cries merely days later, “Crucify him!”  What is chilling to consider—there had to have been at least some of the same people in these two different gatherings.
            Then I realize I am a member of these crowds.  One moment I am at Mass, praying or striving to do God’s will.  The next moment, through my sins, I am crying out, “Crucify him!”  We are all guilty of the hypocrisy of the crowds.
            There are two important realities in light of this sad fact.  First—this is why God gives us Confession.  At any moment we may receive his mercy for when we have sinned.
            Second—always have hope!  Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more.  I love what Fr. Drew said on Friday evening.  He asked, “What motivated Jesus through his passion, suffering and death?  You.”  While our sins put Jesus on the cross, he had us in mind. 
As St. Paul wrote to the Romans, “Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man — though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die.  But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”

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