Monday of Holy Week

Gospel Lesson: Mark 11: 1-3, 10-11

Key Verse: But they agreed it shouldn’t happen during the festival; otherwise, there would be an uproar among the people.

Commentary

Hidden agendas are nothing new, as we learn that the temple leaders are plotting to arrest Jesus and kill him, and that one of Jesus’ disciples is willing to assist them in the plan. The leaders are protecting their own authority, but we do not know Judas’ motive; the text suggests it was money that motivated his betrayal. Interestingly, the leaders are willing to kill Jesus, but not to create an uproar among the people. As the story continues, they will gather enough of the crowd to support their cause, to shout “Crucify him!” when Pilate would prefer to release Jesus. “The crowds” play an important role in Jesus’ ministry, including this final week. We are quick to blame Judas, and find it shameful when Peter denies him. But the crowd is feared by the leaders, and the crowd’s decision distresses Pilate. Who holds the crowds responsible for the part they play in the events of the week? Dare we ask, were there some who shouted “Hosanna!” on Sunday, only to shout “Crucify him!” Friday morning?

 

Meditation/Call to Action

  • In what ways are we influenced by the crowds of our time? Are there ways that “we the people,” as responsible participants, might affect the outcome of those who plot against our best interests?
  • A popular phrase in some Christian communities is “Jesus died for your sin.” That’s a simplified version of atonement theology, meant to get our attention and . . . response. What is the response we expect from those to whom we refer? Perhaps, if we choose to use that phrase, it would be wiser to say, “Jesus died for my sin.” If we remember Judas at that moment, what shall our response be?

 

Prayer

O God,

            who forgives us while we are yet sinners,

            accept our gratitude for second chances.

As we move through this week with all its anguish and challenges,

            be our strength and support that we might submit to your will,

            through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

 


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