“The more occupied we are with the things of God, the more likely we priests are to forget what God isall about- and the more complacent we're likely to become. That's the story of Jesus. Who got rid of Jesus? The priests- who else? The religious people. That's the terror of the Gospel, see?” Anthony De Mello, S.J., Rediscovering Life
Today begins Holy Week, and marks Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem for the Passover festival. Believers everywhere are invited to see ourselves in the events of Jesus’ last week on earth. Much of the Passion of Jesus (his last days) included the abandonment of his closest, most beloved friends, his disciples. The “terror” that is referenced by De Mello is the honest realization that we are no great improvement on the people who put Jesus to death. We are infinitely closer to everyone we meet in the Gospels than we are like the Lord.
Still, in Holy Week, we can learn and receive something enduring and life-giving about ourselves and God. We can learn that our love has a long way to go beyond just doing good to those who do good to us. We can realize that what passes for love in this world is often more about control and payback. We can discover that in our worst moments – in harming others, and being harmed by others, God is the only One who will never leave. God doesn’t give up, take the ball, and go home. God’s love in Jesus Christ is faithful- and forever. The words of Jesus are both life-giving and life-changing: “Father forgive them…Into thy hands commend my spirit. Listen.