PRAYER FOR THE WEEK
Jesus, help me be myself, even if I meet people who think I shouldn't -- and help me look to you for help with that. Amen!
Jesus was arrested and brought to Pilate, the governor, but Pilate saw that Jesus had done nothing wrong. He wanted to let Jesus go, but those who hated Jesus said, "No! Let someone else go!" So Pilate ruled that Jesus would be killed. The crowd took Jesus and crucified Him. When He died, the whole earth shook. People watching said, "This man was the son of God."
Everyone is unique -- and most kids want to be seen that way. You want everyone to know that you are your own person, not just like everyone else!
But it can be hard not to go along with the crowd. If you want to carry a briefcase instead of a backpack or wear different-colored socks every day, you know that, even if some kids support you, others may judge you. It's up to you to decide whether to go along with the crowd or do what makes you happy.
Not going along with the crowd is even more important when it comes to faith. This week's Gospel (Matthew 27:11-54) is the most important example of that in the whole Bible.
Some people decide that Jesus is threatening the way they have practiced their religion, so they want to get rid of Him -- and others, who might not even agree, go along with the crowd and let Jesus be crucified.
Imagine that: They could choose to listen to Jesus or ignore Him, but they choose to kill Him.
When you're trying to be yourself in what seems like a world of kids who expect you to go along with the crowd, it can feel like your uniqueness is being killed. It's hard not to get discouraged.
It's not a spoiler to say that the Gospel story continues with Jesus' coming back to life. Jesus refused to go along with the crowd -- and those who stuck with Him and didn't go along with the crowd, either, found out they had chosen well.
Being unique can be a challenge, but it's worth it. Wear your purple and green socks proudly!