Lent 2021

Deacon’s Beacon: Fickle People or “Stay the Course?”

Posted on March 23, 2021 by Published by

The Fickle People
            Or
“Stay the Course”

Today we celebrate the feast of Palm Sunday.  For the past six weeks we have been on our Lenten Journey striving to bind our lives more closely to God.  Now we start “Holy Week”, which culminates with Jesus’ rising from the dead on Easter Sunday.

There are two gospel readings today.  The first gospel tells of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.  The second tells of Jesus’ Passion and Death.  It is amazing to me that five days after that joyous entry the crowd is shouting “Crucify Him!”  That’s why I refer to the crowd as “fickle.”

How did this happen?  The reading starts with Jesus telling two of His disciples to go into the village and they will find a colt on which no one has ridden.  Jesus knows where the colt is and that it has not been ridden by anyone (it is unspoiled).  Also, a pilgrim would walk into Jerusalem – riding on an animal would be reserved only for a king.

In the reading Jesus is presented as a king or Messiah. The people spread their cloaks on the ground and cry “Hosanna” – this is an homage – a cry for help coming from the people.  Yet, a few days later, on Good Friday, the crowd is shouting, “Crucify Him!”

What caused the change?  We know that the leadership had been plotting against Jesus for some time, but it would be difficult to blame specific instances as an answer “to why the change?”  Definitely there was not a firm belief or commitment by the community.  They were fickle – bouncing from one belief to another and not recognizing the real thing when it was right in front of them!

So what’s important to us is – how do we avoid that happening to us?  I believe that we will be successful if we persevere.  But how do we stay the course even though, at times, it’s difficult?  To answer that question, I think we need to look at the roots of our faith.

This is the best time of year to do that.  Our core beliefs are seen in the actions we will be celebrating this week – the Easter Triduum – the three days starting with Holy Thursday Evening thru Easter Sunday Evening.

Holy Thursday, Jesus’ last supper with His apostles and when He gives us the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist; Good Friday, His passion and death; the Easter Vigil on Saturday, and then Easter Sunday.  These days reinforce the love that Jesus has for us.  But then, what do we need to do to return our love of God and stay the course?

To help us start, I would like to share these words of St. Mother Teresa:

“I used to pray that God would feed the hungry,
or do this or that,
but now I pray that he will guide me
to do whatever I’m supposed to do, what I can do.
I used to pray for answers,
but now I’m praying for strength.
I used to believe that prayer changes things,
but now I know that prayer changes us and we change things.”

In other words, we show our love of God through our love of others – especially those who need our assistance.  Our challenge to stay the course is to live our faith in our daily lives.

We all try our best to stay the course!

Wishing a Happy Easter to all!

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