A hero is well loved by many. People adore heroes. We have a strong attraction for them, giving them our applause and adulation. I’m sure you have your own personal heroes in your lives. They may be popular personalities like actors, politicians or other celebrities. But I suspect for many of us, we just are admiring them from a distance and we would not be willing to put out our lives on the chopping board for them.
Isaiah, in the first reading, describes the true servant of God. He remains faithful to his mission even when persecuted. For he relies on God. The second reading is a hymn of the early church. Jesus humbles himself and becomes one among us to serve us even unto death. But God glorifies Him for His faithfulness. The gospel is the passion of Jesus. In His suffering, death and resurrection, Jesus overcomes death and sin and brings us fullness of life in God. He enters Jerusalem with the adulation of the people. They were waving their palm branches and shouting their Hosannas to him because they thought he would be their liberator from the occupying Roman forces. But he was not who they wanted and expected him to be. In the end, they abandoned and even wanted their supposed hero dead.
Is Jesus your hero? If so, how far are you willing follow Jesus? This is the challenged posed to us today as we recall the glorious entry of Jesus to Jerusalem. People were acclaiming Him as God’s messenger: “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” A few days from now, on Good Friday, people will change their mind and stop following Jesus and even shout: “Crucify Him.” We can understand this better if we reflect on our own lives. We have some days of glorious happiness, of success and joy, but also sad days of contradiction and failure. Today we look at them in the light of the Lord’s passion, death and resurrection. With Him we live happy days, with Him we experience sad days, but whether sad or joyful, in all of them we remain with the Lord and follow Him till the end. Let us be one with Jesus in His suffering, that, we may share in His glorious victory.
Place a crucifix or a cross in a visible place today, perhaps somewhere at work where you can easily see it. Each time you look at it, ask yourself: What kind of follower am I? How willing am I to walk behind Jesus and everything He stood for?