|Father Perry D. Leiker|
A "Hosanna to the Son of David," shouts the crowd as the liturgy of Palm Sunday begins.
"Crucify him!" is shouted just as loudly and brings to a conclusion the readings from the word (the Gospel reading of the Passion of Mark).
A crowd simply can’t be any more fickle than this. The crowd is a classic example of a mob – easily excited and easily manipulated. The crowd doesn’t think for itself. The crowd doesn’t know what is really happening but only perceives the feeling welling up within itself.
If a convincing voice cries out "murder," then the crowd must provide the one to be murdered. The crowd is so easily used to achieve even horrific ends. This scene is an old scene; it is a present scene, and it is the future. It is simply human.
Although history teaches lessons, it doesn’t necessarily teach people how to think or how to live moral lives. This is one reason the church believes in the need for the forming of consciences. This is why the church seeks to think through and attempt to communicate logical, thoughtful and wise ways to live our lives as Christians.
The church is not perfect. The church has made mistakes throughout history. But the church certainly makes an honest and helpful contribution to the human race in attempting to figure out how we can live – not like crowds and mobs, but rather like thoughtful, caring, faith-filled followers of Jesus Christ.
Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.