“At the Procession with Palms”Consider this from the Ass’ perspective! Really this is a great analogy for what we are. We are tied up and bound. (Matt 21:2) (Unless you can pull it off without grinning yourself you may want to refer to it as a donkey for the more immature). Encourage the assembly to allow themselves to be tied up and bound for the rest of the mass, let them know ahead of time “this is the long one, just sit back, relax, and take it all in. There’s nowhere else you have to be right now so just let yourself be here. Right now the “Master has need of you.” (21:3) It’s not about you. Maybe you are esteemed from time to time, and maybe you have people who extol you and give you their attention, but it’s always been about Jesus, you’re just the ass.
“Those passing by reviled him, shaking their heads and saying, ‘Save yourself, if you are the Son of God, and come down from the cross!’” (27:40)
Fulton Sheen, in his autobiography Treasure in Clay, reflects on the issue of the Church and the world at the time of the Second Vatican Council. The world seemed to be challenging the church. “’Come down and we will believe.’ ‘Come down from your belief in the sanctity of marriage.’ ‘Come down from your believe in the sacredness of life.’ ‘Come down from your belief; the truth is merely what is pleasing.’ ‘Come down from the Cross of sacrifice and we will believe.’” (Treasure in Clay, 309)
As we enter into Holy Week, where better to start than at the cross, at the heart of the greatest act of love the world could ever know. Just as the crowd tempted Jesus to come down from His Cross, we too can be tempted to come down from our crosses. Maybe there is a cross in your life right now and you are tempted to come down from it. Maybe you are tempted to let go of your vocation or of a resolution that you have previously made. What is the cross that you are nailed to right now? How are you being tempted to take an “easy way out?” The only way to life is by embracing the cross, embracing our vocation, embracing our call to holiness and allowing our absolute death to selfishness to bring about new life.
Don’t be tempted to come down from your cross. Let God save you through the cross.