Reacting to what other people think about us is one of the hardest things about being a human. Ego, guilt, popularity, group think, peer pressure – in whatever form it takes in your life it all comes down to one simple truth: how people view and treat us will affect how we see and feel about ourselves.
This is something I struggle with personally – especially during this time of life where I am living in a scenario that many could not imagine, yet evokes a lot of opinions. Whether you too struggle with this in a big way or maybe just in little daily happenings, we all have to learn to turn off that feeling, so we can tune into our hearts and what God is calling us to do.
Recently my Dad pointed out an interesting way to cope with this frustration – remember it happened to God too. On Palm Sunday Jesus was welcomed into the city of Jerusalem with a parade of sorts. People lined the streets to welcome him and cheered as he entered the town. Proclaiming him King of the Jews and recognizing them as the great savior who would free them from their troubles – government, illness, poverty – and change the course of history. Just four days later they hung him on a cross like a common criminal. Why? Because Jesus did not act in the way they expected, doing the things they thought he should to save them, and supporting them in the way they felt was necessary. Because he was different than what they thought – they would reject him. Sound familiar?
Now this story addresses this concept in extremes: a parade of celebration and then condemning to death. It is likely that none of us are experiencing highs and lows of quite such epic proportions, but that feeling of being on top of the world and then the bottom of the pile is all to familiar to any of us walking this earth. Our priest also addressed this reality during his homily on Sunday – we are humans and this story is a picture perfect description of how humans act.
As we all continue our way through Holy Week – I believe it makes the journey more personal to imagine Jesus dealing with regular human trials. God designed it so his son would face many of the struggles we too will have to navigate, so that when we pray for his guidance, when we beg for his grace, when we hope for his promise of redemption – we will know without a doubt that we are praying to a God who intimately knows our heart.
Wishing you all a blessed holy week…. let us use the story of Jesus’ journey to leave a mark on our hearts and help us find our purpose in this life.