Sunday, April 9, 2017

Palm Sunday and the Importance of Good Friends

Palm or Passion Sunday is one of my favorite Sundays of the entire year. At the start of mass the palm procession around the church feels so ceremonial and regal. Then by the gospel reading, we are experiencing the passion of Jesus and all of the pain, guilt and suffering that comes with it.

I asked my friend Fr. Gary why we have to read the passion on Palm Sunday. We have all of Holy Week to journey to the cross and Good Friday to really dig deep into it. 

Why can't we just stay in the Hosanna for a little while? 

He explained the very logical reason - not everyone can make it to church on Good Friday and we can't go from the Hosanna to the Resurrection and skip over the cross. And then the other reason, that having both within the same one hour mass reminds us of our weakness. 

The same people who were welcoming Jesus into town, shouting, Hosanna in the highest! one day were shouting Crucify him! days later. Listening to Fr. Gary talk about the two sides of our humanity reminded me of how important my crowd is. 

I doubt everyone shouting Hosanna was fully in-the-know about Jesus. Maybe one guy just showed up because his buddy did or maybe another guy heard what was going on and jumped in. Then they got to catch a glimpse of the savior of the world passing by. 

Same deal with the crowd in front of Pontius Pilate. There were probably a few people who thought, Jesus is amazing. I've been around him and he doesn't deserve to die. But then, in the middle of the angry shouting, they gave in and added a voice. 

Your crowd is important. 

They can lead you to see Jesus or they can lead you to turn your back on Him. What a gift we have in this special day. What a great way to teach our children the importance of solid friendships with kids who will challenge them to grow closer to Christ. And it' a great reminder to us to really explore our church community, find a place where we can contribute, invest and receive the support we need to stay in the hosanna.

Copyright 2017 Abby Brundage

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