Thank you to the members of the Justice and Peace Committee for all their service to us, especially the second Mini Green Summit held last Sunday. Thank you to the Health Committee for the speakers they bring in, the articles in The Invitation, the free yoga sessions by Mary Snow, and the materials available in the lobby of the church. These two committees are always open to new ideas on how they can help the community, so share any ideas you may have.
In our two Gospel readings from Luke this weekend (one for the procession with the palms, the other the Passion), there are three different crowds that interact with Jesus.
The first is the enthusiastic crowd that accompanied Him into Jerusalem, shouting and waving palms. It almost sounds like a mob out of control. They were in the excitement of the moment: was this the Messiah King who would save Israel? But when things got difficult, where were they? Hopefully, our faith isn’t like that: shallow faith that follows only when it is easy or convenient or promising.
The second crowd is the group with the scribes and Pharisees. These are the self-righteous, those who are sure that they are right while those that think or act differently are wrong and need to be condemned. Hopefully, our faith isn’t like that: quick to divide and judge and condemn.
The third is the “large crowd, including many women,” who followed Jesus on the Way of the Cross. This is the only group Jesus speaks to, warning them to weep for themselves and their children. Hopefully, our faith IS like theirs: willing to follow Christ even though it might be difficult, following those that suffer and doing the best we can to bring them comfort.
As we go through these next days leading up to our celebration of the holiest days of the year, I invite us to reflect on these three groups. When am I in which group? How can I grow to be more in the third?
I urge you to attend our services Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil. The powerful symbols in these celebrations will help us enter into the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord. And let us support each other in prayer.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS