Today’s liturgy, like much of life at times, is marked by wild contrasts. One day Jesus rides into Jerusalem in triumph. He is greeted with joyful shouting: “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” The people greet the one who will fulfill all their hopes: their King, their Savior, the Messiah who will give them heaven on earth!
But within days everything changes. Jesus is betrayed by one of his closest followers; he is arrested, beaten, humiliated, tried on trumped-up charges and sentenced to crucifixion. His friends fail to comfort him in his darkest hour and his chosen successor denies him. The crowds, who days earlier cheered him, are offered a chance to pardon him; they choose a notorious thug and murderer over Jesus, crying “Crucify him!” And they do crucify him, between two common criminals.
What a wild descent in only a few days. Our lives can sometimes seem like that.
But notice Jesus’ calm acceptance of both the high and the low. Other than in his cry to God — “Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Take this cup away from me, but not what I will but what you will” — Jesus demonstrates commitment and equanimity.
This is the lesson of Jesus the man: bear all things equally; with God all things are possible.
— Patrick Doyle
Mark 11:1–10 or John 12:12–16
Isaiah 50: 4–7
Psalm 22: 8–9, 17–18, 19–20, 23–24
Mark 14:1—15:47 or Mark 15:1–39