In basketball, a player is hailed as a hero when he commits a few errors and makes points during crucial moments. He becomes a “darling of the crowd.”
But the next time, he is treated as a bum or villain when he fumbles, misses some baskets and does not score as expected. It’s not surprising that a distraught player sometimes complains that fans are fickle and have short memories.
We can say that of Jesus Christ although he wasn’t into basketball. During Christ’s public ministry, he cured the sick, fed the hungry, performed miracles for the people.
These material and physical favors aroused the enthusiasm of the crowd to a point that they wanted to make him their king. Thus, when he entered Jerusalem, the premiere city, he was greeted with cheers and jubilant “hosannas.”
But Jesus knew the “royal welcome” would be short-lived. A few days a er, the cheers and hosannas would be changed to boos and cries of “crucify him, crucify him.”
Peter and the other apostles were privileged to be in the company of their Master. They must have basked in his celebrity status as Jesus entered Jerusalem. But on Good Friday when they saw him being dragged ignominiously from one court to the other, Peter and the other apostles could not bear it anymore. Except for John the evangelist, they fled and went into hiding.
Today we do have a good number of Peters and apostles who are loyal and faithful to God – and friends – when all is going well. But when some hardship, sacrifice, or defeat in elections happen, it might be the end of loyalty. As the truism goes, “Victory has many fathers; defeat is an orphan.”
In daily life, we have commitments of loyalty not only to the Pope as Catholic Shepherd but also to our families, to the laws, honesty, and integrity, to our needy brethren, to mention some.
One time, a lady approached me confiding she did not love her husband anymore. “It was not like before, Father, when he was caring, responsible, and faithful. Apparently, he has grown tired of our relationship.” A case of “familiarity breeds contempt”? Reminds me of that joke from a Marriage Encounter community member. He said: when a couple is newly married, the word asawa (spouse) is still complete.
But as the years go by, the letters gradually disappear. A er a couple of years, the A vanishes and what have you? “sawa” (fed up). Then after a couple more years, the S disappears and you have “awa” (pity), and a er some more years, the A fades out, too; what remains? “wa”! (no more) No more love!
The feeling of love changes through the years. So, one should not expect that the love, when newly married, would remain the same.
On Palm Sunday, we have palm and coconut branches (“palaspas”) to be blessed and brought home. We often put them on altars and nail them to our door and window jambs to drive away evil spirits and even for good luck. That’s fine.
But more properly, let those palaspas remind us that our love and loyalty to Christ, to marital and religious vows, moral commitments as leaders do not wither and fade away just like the enthusiasm of the fickleminded crowd on that first Palm Sunday.
SEVEN LAST WORDS. The SVD Mission Communications Foundation will telecast online the “7 Last Words” on Good Friday, April 2, from 12 noon to 3 p.m. over SkyCable, Destiny (former ABS-CBN) Channel 8, Cygnal Cable 22, A2Z Channel 11, and also on Facebook and YouTube.
* * *
SVD PREACHERS: Fr. Alfred Rollon Jr., Fr. Louie Punzalan, Fr. Crispin B. Vejano, Fr. Pablito Tagura, Fr. Anthony Ynzon, Fr. Jerome Marquez, and Archbishop Socrates Villegas, OP, DD.
LAY SHARERS: Mayor Isko Moreno, Jeffrey Sioson, Iza Calzado, Angelo Michael Lobrin, Lulu Perele, and Julius-Tintin Bersola-Babao.
FAMILY PRAYERS: Jose-Beth Perez, Mauricio-Victoria Roque, Renato-Menchie dela Cruz, Alber-Freda Gemora, Steve-Mila Tamayo, Pete-Regina dela Cruz, and Doddee-Joan Hermogeno.
* * *
PERFORMERS: Vocalismo Choral Group, Prof. Ramon Acoymo, St. Paul’s Sisters Choir, and Fatima V. Soriano.
BY THE WAY… We sent solicitation letters for advertisement placements, sponsorship, and donations for the TV program. May we hear from you? Call Brian Deguito at 7233343 or e-mail me at [email protected]