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‘Hosannas’ to ‘Crucify him’

By Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

In basketball, a player is hailed as a hero when he commits a few errors and makes points during crucial moments. He becomes a “darling of the crowd.”

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But the next time, he is treated as a bum or villain when he fumbles, misses some baskets and does not score as expected. It’s not surprising that a distraught player sometimes complains that fans are fickle and have short memories.

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We can say a similar thing about Jesus although he wasn’t into basketball. During Christ’s public ministry, he cured the sick, fed the hungry, performed miracles for the people.

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These material and physical favors aroused the enthusiasm of the crowd to a point that they wanted to make him their king. Thus when he entered Jerusalem, the premiere city, he was greeted with cheers and jubilant “hosannas.”

But a few days after, the cheers and hosannas were changed to boos and cries of “crucify him, crucify him.”

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Peter and the other apostles were privileged to be in the company of their master. But on Good Friday when they saw him being dragged ignominiously from one court to the other, Peter and the other apostles could not bear it. They fled and went into hiding.

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Today we do have some Peters and apostles who are loyal and faithful to God – and friends – when all is going well.

But when some hardship or sacrifice is required, it might be the end of loyalty.

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One time, a lady approached me, confiding that she did not love her husband anymore. It was not like before when he was caring, responsible and faithful. Apparently, he has grown tired of our relationship. Reminds me of the joke:

when a couple are newly married, the word ASAWA (spouse) is still complete.

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But as the years roll by, the letters gradually disappear. After a couple of years, the A vanishes and what have you”? ‘Sawa,’ (fed up).

Then after a couple more years, the S disappears and you have ‘Awa’ (pity), and after some more years, the A fades out, too; what remains? ‘Wa’! (no more) – no more love or, worse, no more spouse!

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The feeling of love changes through the years. So one should not expect that the love then would still remain the same on Palm Sunday, we have palm and coconut branches or palaspas to be blessed and brought home.

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Let those palaspas remind us that our love and loyalty to Christ and our personal commitments do not wither and fade away just like the enthusiasm of the fickle-minded crowd on that first Palm Sunday.

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‘7 LAST WORDS.’ Another way of reflecting on the Passion and Death of the Lord is to attend our presentation of the “7 Last Words” on Good Friday, March 30 at 12-3 p.m. which will be telecast live on ABS-CBN Channel 2 and SIMUMULCAST over DZMM Teleradyo

If you cannot attend the presentation at the Shrine of Jesus, the Divine Word, E. Rodriguez Blvd., Q.C or WATCH it on Channel 2 or DZMM TV-radio Channel 26.

HAVE A MEANINGFUL HOLY WEEK!

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