“Hosanna in the highest!!” “Crucify him, crucify him.”
Both of these expressions of emotions from the Passion frame what we call Holy Week. The first expression is shouted out by the crowds as Jesus enters Jerusalem riding a donkey. The throngs of people are filled with joy and exuberance as they welcome him, spreading palms and their cloaks on the way as a sign of veneration. Jesus has finally come to be the victor over forces of evil and injustice.
How things can change, and in such a short period of time. How fickle the human spirit is, changing as the winds change, or changing, when we don’t get our way, or the God we supposedly worship dares to overturn our expectations as to how things should happen. We sometimes get a bit testy when God doesn’t follow OUR will!
Yes, we are in the crowds yelling, “Hosanna,” and we are in the crowds yelling, “Crucify him.” Life is like that: sometimes we feel so close to God and act as dedicated disciples of Jesus in the way we love; but at other times, we sink into selfishness and envy...causing untold discard within ourselves and among others.
It’s rarely “either/or,” but rather, “both/and.” We are all a mixture of good and not so good; feelings of consolation and feelings of desolation; experiencing the closeness of God and feeling abandoned by God; doing whatever is right, no matter the cost, or choosing the easy way out.
We are the devoted followers of Jesus, like John and Mary, but we betray and deny, like Judas and the other apostles. We can yell “Hosanna” in our spirit; or we can yell “Crucify him” in our spirit. Both... and.