“Hosana!” they shouted, as Jesus came into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. It was a greeting for a hero, a King. It was a proclamation of who Jesus was, the Messiah!
A few days later, the crowd shouted, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
Jesus was not immune to fear and pain. He knew that he had big challenges to face. In all this, whilst tempted, and even though he struggled, he remained faithful.
Foolish is the one whose happiness depends on the opinion or the mouth of others. Someone praises you, and you naturally feel good about it. Someone disparages you, and you don’t like it.
Both are understandable reactions, however, if I go down in the dumps and become miserable just because someone insults me, or is rude to me, then I am giving them power over me!
I remember a story from Anthony DeMello that I came across many years ago. A man goes to buy the newspaper and a friend is with him. The newspaper vendor is rude, very rude to him. He still buys the newspaper and goes away. His friend is amazed. “Is he often rude like this?” asks his friend. “Yes, every day,” is the response from the man. “Then why do you buy your newspaper from him?” asks his friend. “Because it is convenient to me. Why should I let his rudeness determine where I buy my newspaper from?” He was a free man!
It is our insecurities that make us question ourselves when others are unreasonable towards us.
We give someone power over us when we act like a ‘yo yo’ depending on whether they make a disparaging remark or smile at us.
Am I free enough to keep loving when I am not being loved back? Am I free enough to be committed to loving rather than too pleasing?
Becoming a ‘yes’ person or one who is over concerned with pleasing others all the time is not necessarily loving.
Jesus kept loving even though it made him enemies. He remained faithful to his convictions and to what is right, even though it displeased some people. His love was not conditioned by the reactions he got from others. He died forgiving those who did him harm.
It is not easy to love like this. Unlike Jesus, we often fail in our ideals. However, God never gives up on us, so let us never give up on ourselves or each other.
God bless you today.
+Bishop Charles Gauci
Bishop of Darwin
5 April 2020