But the world would turn on him.
So we have seen in recent days, as Pope Francis – very different in style from his predessor – was welcomed enthusaistically by the crowds and even the media, but was soon the target of grim accusations from elites, for he did not walk in lockstep with their agendas and actually took as his own his predessor’s warning against “the dictatorship of relativism.”
So also we hear in today’s readings, as our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is welcomed enthusiastically by the crowds and then in a few days is dragged off to his death by the elites of that time and place.
So it was for our Lord, so it is for His Vicar on earth, and so may it be for us.
We should be prudent, of course: focusing on doing what we can to spread God’s truth and share His love rather than seeking confrontation for its own sake.
As Thomas More says in A Man for All Seasons, “it's God part, not our own, to bring ourselves to such a pass.”
Also, as our Lord Himself says in today’s Passion (Luke 22:14—23:56),
“Pray that you may not undergo the test.”
That test, that great period of trial, is coming – perhaps not fully in our lifetime, perhaps so: the years and even centuries of relative peace enjoyed by the Church are not guaranteed to be uninterupted.
And the test may come for us as individuals before that – a time when we as individuals may be challenged and inflicted with harm because of our embrace of the Faith.
We need to pray that we may not undergo that test, but that we may be able to spread God’s truth and share His love with as few obstacles as possible.
Yet we must also pray to be ready for the test – when God in His infinite love and wisdom may bring us to such a pass – so that we may faithfully shine forth with His love and His truth no matter what.