Evil doesn’t have the last word
10 April 2022 Palm Sunday, Year C
Listen to Reflection
Soon after a refugee family moved into their new home, they became victims of racial abuse. One morning, as Fariza left the house to walk her two young children to school, they were confronted by a rowdy mob waving placards, shouting obscenities, and smearing the house and front fence with hate-filled graffiti.
The encounter sent a wave of fear and panic through Fariza. Her frightened and confused children didn’t understand what was happening. After all, this was supposed to be a new start for the family, free of the violence and mayhem from which they had fled.
As news of the despicable racial crime spread, the local community rallied in support of Fariza and her family. An elderly couple from the down the street arrived carrying paint, brushes and buckets and offered to remove the graffiti. Soapy water, sandpaper and paint soon obliterated the offensive words and images and a new friendship developed.
Throughout the day, a steady stream of concerned well-wishers and neighbours came by. One family brought food. A young couple gifted flowers and pot-plants. Teachers from the school arrived with toys for the children. Civic, police and faith leaders visited, offering support and assistance.
Fariza said, “The day ended so differently from the way it began.” The community’s bold and compassionate response, broke the power of hatred and evil. The locals took an ugly situation and made it beautiful. They transformed a situation of bigotry and exclusion into one of love and welcome.
The story of Jesus’ Passion also ends very differently from the way it begins. As Jesus enters Jerusalem, there is praise and excitement as the people wave their branches and proclaim their blessings. But, it’s not very long till praise turns to blood-thirsty shouts of “Crucify him!” Jesus is betrayed and deserted by many, even by some of his closest followers. He’s treated like a common criminal; mocked, beaten and murdered on a cross.
Yet, #God takes an ugly, hopeless situation and transforms it. Jesus’ Passion and death become the revelation of God’s unconditional faithfulness, compassion and love. Jesus, the Suffering Servant, who is utterly faithful to God’s purpose for him, resists and breaks through evil and reveals a God of intimacy and relationship, forever bonded to humanity by a new and everlasting covenant in Jesus.
Jesus’ suffering and death for our sake changes and transforms. Our lives are not to be surrendered to the power and domination of ‘today’s rowdy mobs’. Rather, the ‘good news’ is that life is to be lived to the full, in communion with the Risen Christ, in the service of others, forever seeking to make a difference and transform society into a reflection of God’s Kingdom.
#Passion/Palm Sunday spurs us to action, for we glimpse the victory of #love and life over hatred and death. Evil, injustice, violence and death don’t have the last word. For the way things begin is not the way they will end
David J Hore CSsR
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