Tomorrow is Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion in which we will hear the well-known gospel of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem (from outside), The Passion narrative recounts many events inside the city as do the daily gospel readings. But at the end of the Passion, Jesus is again outside the city, crucified and entombed. There were those who cried Hosanna on Sunday and crucify him on Friday. There are those who swore they would stand by him no matter what and then ran away. With respect to the Messiah, Jerusalem and its inhabitants are a divided city.
We are not a lot different. There is the expression that we are to invite Jesus into our hearts and minds. We say that we received Jesus in the Eucharist and take him into ourselves. Our inner life is marked by love and hate; holiness and sin; mercy and revenge; and all manner of opposites. We are little Jerusalems. And maybe we have denied, run away, or simply ignored Jesus. But we should recall that it is very likely that among those who called for crucifixion, or like Peter ran away, they formed the first community of believers. Conversion is highlighted during Lent, but conversion is a life long project. Conversion is a wonderful thing.