NO one becomes a saint by demonizing others. Well, it may be too ambitious to aspire to become a saint, but to put it simply, one does not look better by making another person look bad.
If you spoke ill of your neighbor the other day, waving palms at Mass yesterday and still had unpleasant words for your neighbor would not make you a better person.
In an interview of Fr. Joey Faller that I watched on television yesterday morning, he said that Palm Sunday is nothing if we don’t change for the better, and that in every Good Friday comes Easter.
I took it to mean that blessings await those who suffer. And while we go through the many challenges like getting sick, having problems at work, lacking money for our needs, we should find ways to solve it not by stealing, manipulating other people, or borrowing money without the intention of paying back.
In short, we don’t get something right by doing another wrong.
This Holy Week, starting with the Palm Sunday yesterday and until Easter Sunday, it is time to take stock of our lives, our beliefs and our values.
I don’t intend to preach here, or judge anybody by what they do. I just want to share the thought that sufferings should not let us down. Difficult times will not become easy by hating others who mess up our life.
In the interview, Fr. Faller said that he was the black sheep in the family. He was a black sheep not in the sense that he had gone wayward. He said he was considered a black sheep because as a young boy, he always came late for family prayers. He was late because he enjoyed playing with the street boys.
Fr. Faller must have been born to a well-off family, having medical practitioners for parents.
Black sheep is an idiom that refers to an odd or disreputable member of a family or group. We have heard many stories about a black sheep in the family turning out to be the most successful later in life.
Being a black sheep did not make them successful. It was the realization of doing good and keeping good values that must have pushed them to hurdle their challenges and show the world that they can succeed. It must be part of the struggle to be different… to be desirable.
This reflection comes in timely as we enter the final week of Lent, and the beginning of Holy Week.
As Christians, we observe Palm Sunday in celebration of the day Jesus entered Jerusalem before he was crucified and then resurrected.
Starting last Saturday, churchyards and nearby sidewalks were littered with palms as massgoers bought and carry palms for Palm Sunday Mass. According to the gospels, Jesus’ followers covered his path in palm fronds on the day he entered Jerusalem.
The waving of the palms while the priest blesses those resemble triumph.
After Palm Sunday, are we ready now to further reflect on Holy Week? Most families and individuals await the Holy Week for the long break from school and work.
I don’t know if it is good that many take time during the Holy Week to go on family vacations or picnic, instead of reflecting on the passion of Jesus. Maybe they can do both at the same time.