In the first part of today’s liturgy, the prevailing atmosphere is one of joy, as we recall the triumphant entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem. But there is a shadow–not all are spreading their clothes on the ground for Jesus to walk on—or waving their palm branches. His enemies are watching, and what they see gives greater urgency to their desire to see the end of Jesus-then, as we know, the enemies of Jesus humiliate him, strike him, and scourge him. Soldiers make a crown of thorns for “The King of the Jews”. Herod mocks him, Pilate makes a half-hearted attempt at justice, but fear for his career prevails.
Jesus, for his part, does not strike back–does not scold, accuse, or blame. He begs his Father to forgive those “who do not know what they are doing” Jesus seems to be the victim, but is, in fact, the master. So, as we go through this day, and this week, let us look carefully at Jesus, our Saviour. We watch, not just to admire, but also to learn, to penetrate the mind, the attitudes, and values of Jesus, so that we may walk in his footsteps.
If we are to be his disciples, Jesus invites us to walk his way, to share his sufferings, to live in service of others–to love others as he loves us–which is not a call to a life of pain and misery, but an invitation to a life of deep freedom, peace, and happiness. Anything else would not be worth considering.