Every Palm Sunday I struggle. As members of the parish in the pews, we are asked to participate in the Gospel, reading aloud the role of "the crowd." We have lines like: "Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us." And "Crucify him! Crucify him!" The crowd persists in their call for Jesus' death, and sadly, their voices prevail.
It's hard for me to recite these words during Mass. I understand that I'm playing a part. I know that I'm simply participating in a dramatic interpretation of the events. But it's still hard. Sometimes I simply sit and listen to others read the lines. While the reading of the lines has made me a bit uncomfortable, this experience has actually made me think. What would I say if I was actually a member of the real crowd, the one in Luke's Gospel? Would I join in and cry "Crucify him? Crucify him!" Would I stand silently by and simply listen?
Or would I have the courage to speak up and say, "I believe him. I think he truly is the Son of God."
Crowd mentality is real and it's challenging. It's easy to simply blend into the group and be swept along with the emotion at hand. We experience it today, some 2000 years later.
So that's my challenge this Holy Week. If I'm a believer, a true disciple, am I willing to stand out above the crowd and speak my truth? Am I willing to fight for my faith? Even at a consequence? If I'm not willing to speak the negative words at Mass, am I ready to say the positive words in my daily life?