We have all known “fair-weather” friends and “fickle” fans. We’ve seen the good-time fellas who like to hang around when everything is good. They can join the party and the laughter. They are around for the fun and the times of ease. But, when times are tough, when work is needed, when support and sacrifice are demanded, they are nowhere to be found. Their phone goes unanswered.
Fickle fans are yelling and screaming support when the team is winning. They proudly wear team colors and make sure everyone knows they are proud to be a fan. Then, when the team hits a rough spot, when the team loses a couple of games in a row, or has a losing season, then the team colors are kept in the closet. They complain against the decisions of the coach. They question the commitment of the players. They stop watching the team on tv.
On this Passion Sunday we see how the human heart can quickly change. With palm branches thrown before Jesus on Sunday and cries of “Crucify Him” by Friday, we witness that someone can go from the top of the world to the bottom in just a matter of days. The move from believer to traitor was a short trip … literally a few steps.
While the betrayal of Jesus and the betrayal of our faith in Jesus is something to ponder, perhaps the BETRAYAL OF ONESELF is the worst betrayal of all. When we compromise our basic beliefs, when our statements are all about protecting ourself, when our actions are self-serving, when we keep our mouths shut so as to be popular, when we agree with boss just to keep our job, then we are on the path to the worst betrayal of all — betrayal of self.
It is hard to stand alone — Jesus saw who his real friends were on Good Friday. He saw what we have all come to know —- we have lots of buddies, but a few friends. It is hard to be the only person in a room holding a certain position. It is hard to be the lone vote against the vast majority.
When we stay true to what we believe and when we keep-fast to what we think, we keep our dignity and our character is untarnished.
This is a week to challenge ourselves to remain true to our faith and to profess our faith even when we stand alone or in the minority. But, this is also a week to look deep within our hearts to see what we really think, what we really believe and to make sure that we have the internal fortitude, the courage to stand fast, no matter what the crowd is yelling.