By Crystal Crocker
“Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord …” (John 12:13)
Today at Mass, we celebrate the joy of Palm Sunday and the pain of our Lord’s Passion. What a contrast! Clutching my palm branch stirs mixed emotions, as I look around to see others quietly weaving their palm into a cross.
We know the story of Jesus as he rides on a lowly donkey into Jerusalem. The people run to meet him with jubilation for they see a king, like King David, returning for them. They throw their garments and palm branches before Him, only to turn against him in the most violent way in just five brief days.
Shouts of “Hosanna!” turn to shouts of “Crucify Him!”
Would that be our response, if we were in Jerusalem on that day? Would we run away when things got rough? Would we stand silent watching the angry crowd? Or would we open our heart and walk with Him? Jesus wants to ride into our hearts today. What is our response?
I imagine that I, too, would join the crowd in waving a palm branch, running after the quick trot of the donkey yelling, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” I would welcome Him into my life and into my heart, but for how long? Do my actions today say, “Hosanna in the highest” or do I remain silent when the crowd shouts, “Crucify him”? I want to answer no! But it is easy to be distracted and drawn into worldly preoccupations. I pray to be faithful and persevere in the difficulties to follow Him, even to the Cross.
And so along the way to Golgotha, I hope I would place myself on the side of the road with the Daughters of Jerusalem, weeping for our Lord as he struggles under the heavy burden. My heart aches to help Him, but I can only watch and cry. I offer Him my heart full of sorrow for my weaknesses and sin. Forgive me, Lord.
I wonder if I would have courage, like St. Veronica, to leave the safety of home and enter the violence of the street, where angry faces scream and spit and Roman soldiers, sword in hand, are ready to slay any disturbance? I pray I would, that I would not think of myself but grab my veil to wipe His face and give Him anything, something … give Him myself.
Yes, this is what Jesus wants most—us!
Let us open our hearts to let Him in and give ourselves, again today, however imperfect and in need of mercy. Let us accompany Him along the way and proclaim, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord …”
About the Author:
Crystal Crocker is a wife, mother of four and lifelong Catholic with a zeal for evangelization. Her heart is set on love, joy, and the spiritual battle to win souls. She has led numerous Bible studies and women’s groups, been a lobbyist defending marriage and chaired a Catholic Celebration for 7,000 on fire Catholics. She currently is the Evangelization Coordinator in the Office of Evangelization & Catechesis for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.