Manila, Philippines

Welcoming Betrayal and Saving Us By Not Saving Himself

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Time for some spiritual investment. In today’s mass, Palm Sunday, two things gave me goosebumps.
Church crucifix by Randy OHC, on Flickr

Even though Catholic tradition during the Holy Week has been a yearly thing (and the readings have become familiar), these two points nonetheless got me thinking (and reflecting).

And I’d like to share these with you, too. No expert in Theology and Philosophy (a big fan of the latter though), just some guy thinking out loud (and writing).

Jesus Enters Jerusalem
We reenact Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem via waving of palaspas, just like the people who were jubilant in welcoming Him back then. Very jubilant, triumphant and happy. And at the same time, evokes some guilt and embarrassment, thinking that these were the same people who will eventually join the crowds in mocking Jesus, and eventually get Him crucified by Good Friday. And I, or we, are among those people.

Maybe that’s among the gists of the whole tradition and reenactment. To make us realize that hey, at one time we welcomed Him, and then at another, we abandon, betray and leave Him. That’s how fast we change our minds, our hearts. Fickle and frail human nature. How ironic. Worse than a friend.

I believe Jesus knew what was to happen to Him, and believing that makes the guilt worse, since He knew all along that eventually, these people around Him will turn their backs on Him, and want Him dead soon. He knows we will lose our way from time to time, even turn against Him and yet, He still fulfilled His mission. I’m sure Jesus is not fond of guilt tripping, but still I hope the tradition evoked some guilt in us to make us turn to Him once again and repent. And that’s painful Love right there, Jesus’s Love. God’s Love.

Jesus, Save Yourself
Once crucified, people were mocking Jesus, telling Him to save Himself, get down from the cross and if He does, people will believe Him. Part of me wondered what would have happened if He actually did save Himself. There were many times in His ministry that people asked and tempted Him to prove His power and Godliness in wordly standards, with people daring Him to showcase His power for us to believe.

If He did, will we believe? I’m not so sure if I would. Part of me wanted Him to save Himself, but obviously that is not part of the plan. And if He did save Himself, maybe many would believe but He will not be able to conquer death and give us eternal life, or something like that.

Point is, Jesus had other plans, and He did not succumb to worldy standards. Good thing He did not. For all of us.

Same in life, we ask God for this and that, which we think is better for us but sometimes, He says, wait and be patient kid, I have other plans, way better plans than yours. Because He knows us best, and what’s best for us.

Have a safe and meaningful Holy Week every Juan.

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