Each Palm Sunday, Catholic churches around the world The Passion passage from one of the Gospels is read. We remember by re-reading the Gospel. Roles are assumed; Jesus, Narrator, Speaker, Chorus. The Narrator reads as an observer and chronicler of sorts, the Speaker speaks the other roles, the Priest is usually Jesus while the Chorus is the rest of the congregation.
As the Chorus, you need to take part in the sentencing of Jesus. As the Chorus, you take part in what feels like a “mob mentality.” I’m not comfortable with “mob mentality” and have always struggled to take part in these readings. There is a part inside of me that screams back, “I won’t take part in this! No, you are wrong.” I want very much to believe that I am not part of it, but by now you may be thinking, nice try Annette, but we are all to blame. You are correct. All around us at the moment there is a rising of a “mob mentality” and accusation that rests in the air, in some ways a defining moment of good and evil. I won’t take part in the fanning of the flame, nor can I be silent. I can’t play mob.
I am more comfortable with the Narrator’s role, the one who observes and tells the story. The one who tries to make sure that everyone knows the truth of what is happening. Here is the story, you choose your place in it.
For more than 2000 years and beyond all reason we have been able to choose our place in this story. Somehow, we are able to get some sense of what was happening that week that led up to the death of Jesus. We know from our own experiences, from the media, from what we see happen in our own communities how quickly someone can turn from Messiah to public enemy number one and at some point we have all been complicit in this turn.
As we enter the coming week, let’s consider where we are in the story. Are we the chorus, are we the ones willing to tell the story or are we the ones that are left with no place…no voice…no way to understand our role. I am sure those people were there too.
Whatever role you find yourself in, take it to God and ask how it can be used to bless those around you. Don’t be afraid to show you believe in Jesus as the Christ, as the one who represents both suffering and redemption. Don’t get bogged down in what others might think, let God take care of all of that.
Have a blessed Holy Week.