Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Bolton

Stay with us, Lord, on our journey

Cycle B

Palm Sunday

Mark 14:1-15:47

“They were all shouting ‘Hosanna’.”
“They shouted back ‘Crucify him’.”

The message of Jesus was simple enough - the Reign of God's love in our lives has come. He taught this and he lived this. The simplicity and honesty of his life appealed directly to the people. They flocked to him, they acknowledged him as Messiah, proclaimed that “he comes in the name of the Lord” and shouted their “Hosanna’s” and their blessings. The religious authorities found all of this very disconcerting. They were confused by his open goodness yet apparent lack of regard for the Law. They were afraid that the crowds would be led astray. They were coldly determined - he must be stopped.

Determination based on fear and hatred readily overrules matters of mere honesty. Their trumped-up accusations and their deceitful arguments persuaded at least some of the crowd to change their tune. They now began to bay for his death – “Crucify him” - until the weak and fear-filled Pilate gave way. Within a week they had swung from rapturous enthusiasm to spiteful rejection. Oh fickle crowd! How readily people can change; how easily it comes to say one thing and yet do another.

And what of ourselves? Are we totally free from inconsistencies in our own lives? Do we not sometimes behave in ways that are inconsistent with the faith we proclaim? Holy Week is a time to hear again the gospel calling us to greater fidelity, a time to commit firmly for Jesus, a time to be renewed in solidarity with him who comes in the name of the Lord. This is the favoured time to be united more deeply with Jesus throughout his passion and so be caught up afresh in the power and the joy of his resurrection