Message of the Week

Reflections from the March 20 Gospel

Luke 22:14—23:56

The Palm Sunday Gospel readings present a sad picture of grown-ups who succumb to peer pressure. Three times, Pilate proclaimed that Jesus was not guilty. But yet, he gave in to the mounting pressure from the crowd. Also, during the opening Gospel at the procession of palms, we see the adoring crowds hailing Jesus but soon the chorus changes to “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Then too, we have Peter, who promised eternal faithfulness. But when others began asking uncomfortable questions, he caved: “Woman, I do not know him.”
These three scenarios give us a chance to reflect on our own faithfulness as we journey into Holy Week. Like Pilate, do we know the truth but abandon it when it becomes unpopular? The fickle crowds demonstrate another kind of weakness, where instead of thinking for themselves, people just followed those around them. Are we guilty of this kind of passive intellectual laziness? How about Peter’s problem: do we change our story based on current company, or do we live as consistent Christian witnesses in the world? This week, may we have the courage to accompany Jesus all the way to the cross, no matter what anyone else may do.

Questions of the Week

Luke 22:14—23:56:
What aspects of Luke’s Passion
narrative are most striking to you?
Isaiah 50:4-7:
Why do you think God’s prophets are so often mistreated?
Philippians 2:6-11:
What do you think it means that Jesus “did not regard equality with God something to be grasped”?