At the triumphal beginning of Palm Sunday's Mass, Jesus is the "Toast of the Town!"
At the conclusion of Palm Sunday's Mass, Jesus is "Toast!"
In Jesus case, both the religious authorities of the day and the rank and file laity of Judaism and also the secular establishment were settling scores with Jesus. The audacity of Jesus to forgive sinners! Who does He think He is God? What about justice? What about all the families that the women caught in adultery broke up with her liaisons? What about all the people that the tax collectors swindled? What about all the victims of others' sins, MURDERS, CHILD MOLESTERS, MOBSTERS? How could Jesus forgive them? Really, just who does He think He is? He can't get away with His callousness! What did He know and when did He know it about these sinners that He has the audacity to forgive? Crucify Him, crucify Him!
Does the Passion of our Lord sound familiar to you today? How odd that during Holy Week, the Pope and the Catholic Church are enduring attacks from her own and from the world. It all sounds so very familiar. Thank God for Jesus who is the "Toast" of the Passion--yes, the BREAD OF LIFE, THE VICTIM OF FORGIVENESS, THE LAMB OF SACRIFICE AND THE TRUTH, THE WAY AND THE LIFE!
Some liberal Catholics are thinking: It's payback time, Ratzinger!
Damian Thompson is Blogs Editor of the Telegraph Media Group.
There is still no good evidence that Pope Benedict XVI is seriously implicated in the atrocious child abuse scandals that are – rightly – blackening the reputation of the institutions of the Catholic Church. But still the attempts to join the dots continue. To put it bluntly, there is an increasingly frantic media campaign against the Pope in which headlines are being written first and then facts shaved to fit them.
It is also clear that many prominent liberal Catholics are turning a blind eye to this media vendetta because they don’t like Pope Benedict. They are happy for him to take the rap for diocesan cover-ups initiated, in some cases, by liberal prelates. Those relates are grateful for the opportunity to pass the buck to the one man who, though his record on this matter is certainly not beyond criticism, has done more than any other to rectify the Church’s lax procedures – Joseph Ratzinger.
Some Catholics, such as our blogger Cristina Odone, have protested against the unjust treatment of the Pope. God bless her, for I know that Cristina is not sympathetic to some of the Pope’s views; yet she can spot the hidden agenda here.
I have to ask myself: if a liberal, liturgically wet Pope was castigated unfairly in this way, would I stick up for him? I can’t be sure, but how shameful if I did not.
If I was Benedict XVI, I’d be asking myself if I even wanted to visit Britain this autumn. For, when he does, he will meet English bishops, Catholic journalists and self-appointed spokesmen for the Catholic community who did not dare offend liberal opinion by defending him properly, or whose judgment was clouded by personal dislike of the Pope and his agenda.
Some Catholics – not many, but they are prominent – are actually thinking: it’s payback time, Ratzinger. If we can make this mud stick, then we can continue to sabotage your liturgical reforms. In other words, they are using the victims of clerical child abuse to fight internal political battles. Why am I not surprised?
While Jesus triumphal entry leads to crucifixion, stay tuned for Easter Sunday, you ain't seen anything yet! Wait and see what Jesus does to those who crucified Him!