Holy Week is upon us once again. At these well known points in the liturgical year, I am prone to think of Scrooge’s dismissive remarks about Christmas: “another year older and not a moment wiser.” But something struck me during the reading of the Passion Gospel on Palm Sunday that may lead to a scintilla of wisdom.
As Our Lord is hanging from the cross in the purest act of Love know to man, the Jewish religious leaders are mocking him with words we have often heard, but perhaps not often given due consideration: “He saved others, Himself he cannot save.” It makes me want to travel through time to grab hold of these men and shake them throughly saying “How likely is that!!?”
Christ spent three years working miracles which would be unbelievable but for the constant testimony of eye witnesses which included the Jewish leaders. And suddenly He cannot manage to pop the nails out of his flesh, step off the cross, and heal his wounds? He remains on the cross
because He wants to be there. His Father has willed this act as the redemption of mankind and He submits to that Will for His love of the Father and His love of us. (This is something useful to consider when reciting the Fiat Voluntas Tua of the Lord’s Prayer.)
But I do not find it within me to be anything but sorrowful for the Jewish leaders. Yes, they are blind to what is really happening. But I reflect that had I been there with the same biases in upbringing as they had, I would be very hard-pressed to act differently. And there are plenty of folks walking the earth today who have the same kind of difficulties to overcome to benefit from God’s act of salvation. Truly, there, but for the grace of God, go I.
One of the benefits of a Protestant upbringing is the memorization of hymn verses. One came to mind at the Palm Sunday Mass:
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small.
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my life, my soul, my all.
By: Corey Huber, Fund for Vocations Founder