Fifth Sunday of Lent

 

The symbols of Lent remind us of events in the life of Jesus during Holy Week: the palm branch for the triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the money bag for the betrayal by a trusted friend, the basin and towel for Jesus service and concern for others, and the grapes and wheat symbolizing His continuing presence with us.

On this 5th Sunday of Lent our symbol is a crown of thorns. We think of the Jewish authorities seeking Jesus' crucifixion, the Roman leader, Pilate, submitting to their wishes, and the soldiers who led Jesus to the cross and made Him a crown of thorns. They taunted Him shouting "King of the Jews." They could not believe this humble man to be the Christ.

By not taking Jesus seriously, we still hurt Him today. We find it hard to accept the Good News and become part of His Kingdom here and now. We find it easier to wait until tomorrow; we have our own things to do today. We want to believe, yet we are still troubled by our unbelief. We now place the crown of thorns before the cross.

Bible reading: Matthew 27:28-29
They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said.

"Dear God, we raise our humble prayer this day asking for forgiveness as we find it easier to put off doing that which you have called us to do today. May we grow to accept your call to commitment today. Amen.