April 16, 2011

Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion - A


The Power of Human Words

For those of us who will participate in the celebration of the Passion of the Lord, these will be the lines we say during the Gospel:

“This man said, ‘I can destroy the temple of God and within three days rebuild it.’”

“Prophesy for us, Christ: who is it that struck you?”

In response to Pilate's question of who should be released, "Barabbas!”

“Let him be crucified!”

“Let him be crucified!”

“His blood be upon us and upon our children.”

“Hail, King of the Jews!”

“You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself, if you are the Son of God, and come down from the cross!”

Human words, as Matthew understood it, speak loudly of their interior life and motives. These are not mere words. They have power.

Then, near the end of Matthew's Passion narratives, we finally hear some positive words from the mouth of the gentiles.

"The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus feared greatly when they saw the earthquake and all that was happening, and they said, 'Truly, this was the Son of God!'”

All are human words with the power to build up or to destroy. These words can reject or profess one's faith in God's love.

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