“Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He said in reply, “I tell you, if they keep silent, the stones will cry out!” Lk 19:40
On occasion, when we find ourselves in a cynical or sad mood, we refer with some disdain to A&P Catholics, those who celebrate with us only on Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday because they get something free to take home! How awful of us to judge, especially at the beginning of the holiest week of the church year. Shouldn't we be glad that our sisters and brothers in Christ want to express their faith publicly? Shouldn't we trust that God will take their gestures of belonging and use them as seeds that have only to be watered to grow into something wonderful and transforming for them and all they know and meet?
Because Jesus' disciples were proud to be associated with him, they spoke enthusiastically of his influence and spread his message of hope to everyone they met, but like most new believers their actions sometimes seemed shallow and showy. Accordingly, the leaders of the Jewish community tell Jesus to control his followers actions more carefully, but Jesus refuses, knowing that his disciples needed to speak of their transformation and belief, even if it appeared overdone, in order to test their own commitment and publicly honor him.
Holy Week is upon us, a time of great joy and hope, and one that demands we, like Jesus' first disciples, be more publicly committed to living the mysteries of faith. If this means we risk seeming too religious for some people's taste, so be it. If we don't live our faith publicly, how will the Good News be proclaimed?
Today, wave a palm of hope for someone who seems lost.
What do you think is the best way to express your faith publicly?