Palm Sunday falls on April 1st this year … April Fools’ Day. How appropriate!!!
Only a fool would do what Jesus did. Why participate in a parade that was sure to enrage those who wanted to kill him? Who would choose execution, dying naked as a convicted criminal without even mounting a defense?!? Why not defend Himself with word or action? Why not rage against the unfairness of it all? And that bit about being raised on the third day … utter foolishness.
In fact, Jesus’ whole life can be seen as an act of foolishness. He did some strange deeds and said some things which made people laugh or usually, sneer in anger. Love is foolish at times and does strange things and goes beyond the usual, the socially acceptable.
But the real “joke” was on those who facilitated and participated in Jesus’ execution. He wouldn’t stay dead!!! The real joke is on those who try to keep Jesus out of their lives, forgetting His deep and abiding love for even the most stubborn, recalcitrant soul. The joke is on those who try to find happiness by being totally focused on their own needs and wants.
The apostles, the Jewish leaders, the soldiers … none of them understood who He was for them. They never knew during these events what He was doing for them. The apostles slept and then fled. The soldiers mocked. Herod scoffed. The priests and scribes raged. Pilate chickened out. But the women … ah … their grace and dignity while dealing with unbearable sorrow is a source of pride and hope for all of us.
Holy Week is about how we human beings deal with this man we call Jesus. Sometimes we welcome Him into our lives, sometimes we push Him away. We sleep, mock, chicken out, rage. In Holy Week, may we find the healing we need.
Love deeply, pray faithfully, laugh often!
Fr. Herb, C.S.C.