We do not honor our love in Lent. Our love is fickle, it is wavering, it is unsteady. Our love is weak, even when turned toward those closest to us, but especially when it is turned toward God. Holy Week isn’t about the love of the people for Christ, because their love failed, and the crowds turned against our Lord.
“Sometimes they strew His way and His sweet praises sing; resounding all the day hosannas to their King. Then ‘Crucify!’ is all their breath, and for His death they thirst and cry.”
Jerusalem rejoiced to receive her King on Palm Sunday. Jesus even said, “I tell you, if these [people] were silent, the very stones would cry out.” The cries of ‘Hosanna’ rose up to Jesus, cloaks and palm branches covered His path. The people showed Jesus glory, honor, and love. But by Friday that all had changed. The cry was no longer ‘Hosanna!’ but ‘Crucify!’ Man’s love had faltered and failed. The crowds who once had adored Him now cried out for His death.
We do not honor our love in Lent, for we too are like the crowds of Jerusalem. Our love for Christ falters and fails. On some days we cry out ‘Hosanna!’ praising our King for all that He has done for us. On others, we are like the mob on Good Friday, rejecting Christ through our words and actions. Our love is completely corrupted by the sin that fills all of our members. Lent isn’t about our love for Christ, but His love for us. Even you and I, who have love that is so weak, so faltering, so unsteady, are shown love by Jesus, the love that led Him to the cross. His love is shown to the “loveless that they might lovely be.”
Most merciful God, as the people of Jerusalem, with palms in their hands, gathered to greet your dearly beloved Son when he came into His Holy City, grant that we may ever hail Him as our King and, when He comes again, may go forth to meet Him with trusting and steadfast hearts and follow Him in the way that leads to eternal life; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever, Amen.