Politicized Triumphant Entry of Jesus

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Politicized Triumphant Entry of Jesus

Post by marcs castaneda on Fri Mar 26, 2010 7:07 am

Politicized Triumphant Entry of Jesus”
(Palm Sunday)




I help you go back to the Christmas story and see how King Herod feared so much the birth of Jesus. He was anxious because of his misconceived perception of a political nativity. The King suffered from the apprehension of being surpassed. He never realized that even if he was able to trick the Magi or was able to kill the Baby Jesus which he failed to do; Jesus will still be the King not in earthly standards. Jesus was not the political king as was expected by the people who will protect the people from the enemies through strong armies and great military strategies. He was the King who worked for the people’s heavenly citizenship by offering himself on the cross, and yet people did not see it as victory but folly.

The Palm Sunday which is biblically known as the Triumphant Entry of Jesus in Jerusalem signals the church’s entry to the holiest week of the year. It is very interesting to note how the triumphant line, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord” can be interpreted in various ways as was done already by the early thinkers. The entry of Jesus was described in the scriptures with the manner people welcome political dignitaries. Thus the crowd shouted with joy because they expected Jesus as the long awaited king to bring political deliverance. Jerusalem is a city known to have persecuted many prophets and messengers of God because of their disgust and Jesus was not spared. They shouted the praising line but with a sudden swing of condemning words, “Crucify Him.” These words resounded during the trial of Jesus. It was a line that summarized the disappointment on the part of the crowd longing for political emancipation and words of envy and fear from the Jewish and Roman authorities. Try to take a look at the quick shift of mood of the crowd and try to contextualize it in the attitude we have today. See the paradox of the Palm Sunday shouts of joy, “Hosanna” and the Good Friday’s stark line, “Crucify Him.” How many times have we said to Jesus we love him and yet we continuously mock and crucify him in our sinfulness. How many times did we reflect on the meaning of the cross, as Jesus’ selfless love and salvific act but we continue to betray him in our selfishness, pride, hatred, anger, greed, lust, dishonesty, envy, untruthfulness, and our ongoing acts of mockery and betrayal.

We are quick to praise people in their successes but in a single mistake committed (and yet Jesus never committed any wrong), they have collapsed already in our judgment. This is a common reality that needs to undergo purification. On the other hand, we are quick to admit our mistakes but we are swift to fall into it again. The rush reactions we have are signs of our immature and undiscerned words and actions. Sometimes we fall into the same ditch like the crowd who praised Jesus and in one moment mocked and condemned him.

Why were the crowds longing for political deliverance? The governance was not good. It was a discriminating and alienating authority. It was a government that created division among peoples and families. It was a government that served the elite. That is why when the people were not able to meet the political exodus they were expecting from Jesus, the King; they pushed him to his death.

I am quite interested to bring this picture in analogous with the Filipino political world we have now. It is not uncommon to hear political candidates shouting their platforms coupled with persuasive trickery promises. But it is rare to see political candidates who after winning the race will be committed to what they have been trumpeting. The quick shift happens when they already find their places in the public office. They start to sink the sinking ship instead of patching the broken walls and renovating the impaired propellers. See how the crowd who cried praises in the triumphant entry of Jesus in Jerusalem finds its parallel today. Of course, it is unjust not to commend the great public leaders who really labored for the authentic human development. We applaud them and give them the chance to work more.

Why do we need good leaders? Simply because we need good governance. Good government means each individual will be helped in his pursuit of the good, and as a community in the pursuit of the common good.

But we must always remember that we are not only citizens here on earth, citizens in a particular country or city but above all we are citizens of heaven. Hence we need to transcend from our temporal chase of the good. I hope this Holy Week observance will truly help us revisit the salvific passion and death of Jesus situating it in the approaching elections. Let it be a threshold of social and political transformation.

Instead of spending time for picnics during the Easter Season, join the Voter’s Education activities of the Social Action Ministry. Like many others, Sister Annie of the Sisters of Charity hopes and prays that we will truly involve ourselves in this noble apostolate. In this line, I strongly exhort each one; we need to meddle in the MORAL aspect of politics i.e. to be a significant participant of good governance.
*******



The dream that was once a tiny seed and struggled to sprout from the earth has taken its leaf and looking with much optimism for great fruits in the future. I congratulate all the graduates. Keep on sailing towards the good and the common good. I greet my niece Yanna Felwa as she celebrates the gift of life, happy birthday! (For comments and suggestions reach me at 09197850528 or pachiespoint@yahoo.com).

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marcs castaneda

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