This week we are invited to look at Jesus! Everything that Jesus allows to “happen” to him during his Passion screams, “Look at Him,” from the waving palms in His praise and honor, to the taunts as He is stripped naked in humiliation, to, finally, His being hung on the cross in example to others never to irritate the Romans. But, even in these, it is Jesus doing the inviting, “Look at Me.”
Yes, this week, especially, Jesus says, “Look at Me.” Not glance, or peek, or stare; not notice, or gape, or observe–but LOOK. When we want another to know the truth or gravity of our words or a situation, we often say just that, “Look at me.”
As Jesus rides into Jerusalem this Palm Sunday, he implores us to “look at Him.” It’s not an act of fanfare or a command of obedience. Jesus invites us right into his suffering and says “look”–see (realize, understand, comprehend) HOW MUCH I love you.
Do we meet his gaze and ponder this truth? It’s hard enough to enter into another’s suffering–and harder yet when we know they suffer due to us. It’s easier to look away and not be “touched,” leaving vulnerability for another time and space, if at all.
Do we glance or peek or stare as some may have along the cloak-strewn path leading into the city, not fully understanding what they were witnessing, just a casual observer moving about the day’s tasks?
Do we notice or gape or merely observe–staying at a distance, captured by the moment and the swaying palm leaves…but not wanting to get too close? Getting too close has consequences, after all; we may get called into service like Simon of Cyrene or questioned about our relationship with Him like Peter.
Or do we really look at Him, following His every move, his expression, His journey, coming to fuller realization of “why” is He doing this, “why” is He allowing this?
Jesus, the King, enters Jerusalem to shouts of joy. Jesus, the Priest, offers His sacrifice, interceding for us on the cross. Jesus, the Prophet, who said, “…unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit,” exclaims, “It is finished.” Not as in “my suffering is over” but, my sacrifice is complete, and I begin my perpetual intercession for you in the presence of the Father; sin and death are defeated. Salvation is won, and we are called to participate in the fullness of HIs redemption.
Priest, Prophet, and King, come to love us, save us, invite us into full Communion with Him. This week, don’t just glance or peek. Jesus invites us, “Look at Me.” Lock eyes with Him during His journey this Holy Week and see what words of truth or gravity He has for you!
Blessed be Jesus!
Director of Parish Life