They looked for Jesus and said to one another as they were in the temple area, "What do you think? That he will not come to the feast?"
Good question, the last verse of today’s Gospel! It’s Saturday before Palm Sunday, the last day before we begin what is sometimes called The Week of Fire. Anyone growing up observing these High Holy Days is now beginning to feel it. The Lenten journey has brought us this far again and we are right at the edge, ready to step over. The Gospel question is about Jesus but we know the answer to that. Of course he came to the feast and stayed till the bitter– then glorious end. But what about the rest of us? What about me this year? What about you?
Some years ago I was working as a psychology intern at a county mental health clinic. One of my clients was a young man with a serious mental illness who lived mostly on the street. But he was usually able to ride his broken-down bike to his monthly appointments. As we began one of our sessions he was more anxious than usual and said, "I think I missed Easter this year." That sad statement comes back to me every year now around this time. I don’t want to ever miss Easter. These days are a precious gift to us as we join the circle of faith. Some years are easier. Some are harder. But it always promises to be a "Week of Fire" for those who dare to enter.
Let us be strengthened by today’s ancient proclamation from the Book of Ezekiel. We stand ready and hear the powerful word: "My dwelling shall be with them. I will be their God. And they shall be my people!"
"What do you think? Will he come to the feast?" Then, what about the rest of us?
Fr. Jim Strommer, C.P. is a member of the Provincial Council and lives in Chicago.