The relationship between Palm Sunday and Holy Week always baffled me as a kid. We would wave a branch in the air at the beginning of Mass singing a song that went: "Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna to the King of Kings"...and then within a week Jesus was dead. How did Jesus go from being so loved and acclaimed, to disowned and crucified by His own people within days? Maybe that's why Jesus was so careful about coming into Jerusalem humbly?
The contrast between Palm Sunday and Good Friday is extreme but I know the way I live my faith also has it's extremes. There are times, spaces, and people with whom I can unashamedly and boldly talk about my faith and then there's other times when I shy away from being visibly noticed as a Catholic. On Ash Wednesday I went to mass and coffee afterwards. Half an hour into my coffee catch-up I realised I still had the ashes on my head and rubbed them out. Other people embraced the 'ashtag' and proudly posted their ash covered foreheads on social media. Why did I feel the need to rub mine out? I think it was a combination of not wanting people to think I had dirt on my head; not wanting to make people feel uncomfortable; and a big contributor was not wanting to stand out from the crowd or look weird.
This realisation gave me an insight into what might have been happening for the people of Jerusalem. On Palm Sunday it was socially acceptable to get amongst it and love up on Jesus but it was a different story by Good Friday. What was the shift? I wonder if the people who had worshipped Jesus as he entered Jerusalem had spoken up on Good Friday would it all have played out differently? It doesn't really matter but it does challenge me to be respectfully and lovingly open about my faith even when I might feel like it's not the norm.
To read the readings from yesterday you can find them here: http://www.catholic.org/bible/daily_reading/?select_date=2017-04-09