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The Jews picked up rocks to stone Jesus.
On March 30, 1967, the number one song in America was “Happy Together” by The Turtles. And although I was not even two-years-old when it first came out, I recognized it immediately when I heard it this morning. I was amazed at how I knew it well. This would be the perfect song for any senior retreat!
Music changes. Bands change. But people will always keep writing and singing songs. The same is true of traveling. Airplanes forever changed the way we travel, and 9/11 forever changed the way we travel, but people still travel by air. Many things change, but some things never change.
As we approach Holy Week, we notice a dramatic change in the tone of the readings. Attitudes and hearts are quickly changing, and all for the worst. People are no longer bending their knees to do Jesus homage. Instead, they are bending their knees to pick up stones. People have always pushed through the crowd to get closer to the Lord, but now they are pushing through the crowd to get to him; not to welcome him but to grab him!
Things are changing, but Christ’s heart never changes. And that is a welcomed change. Regardless of what is being prepared for Him; regardless of what is being said about Him; regardless of what will happen to Him; Jesus is not budging a bit. He continues to love till the very end. He continues to forgive till the very end. He continues to give till the very end.
Later this morning I will be celebrating Mass at a senior retreat. Last night I was thinking about what I could possibly say to these kids. Nothing, absolutely nothing, came to mind. What could I tell them? How could I prepare them? What will help them? I was at a loss. So, I texted some freshmen in College and asked if they could help me. What I received blew my mind! It was perfect! It was exactly what needs to be said. I must say, I am so impressed with the maturity level of some of our young people. They are truly a gift from God. One person wrote back, “I guess I would tell them that things are going to change. People will change, dynamics between people will change, passions will change, and the list goes on and on. Sometimes all of this change makes us worry; it makes us scared, or even ignorant. It’s during these difficult times that we should turn to the one person who will never change, Jesus Christ. We may not have control over the change that happens in our life, but God has more control than we could ever imagine. It is this that brings peace to my anxious heart within a world that can change almost overnight.”
“In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.” (Ps. 18:7) Even while the Lord is under duress, he hears my cry. Even while the Lord is being scourged, he feels my pain. Even while the Lord is in chains, he sets me free.