Palm Sunday is soon. I always marvel at the story.
As he rode along,
the people were spreading their cloaks on the road;
and now as he was approaching the slope of the Mount of Olives,
the whole multitude of his disciples
began to praise God aloud with joy
for all the mighty deeds they had seen.
“Blessed is the king who comes
in the name of the Lord.
Peace in heaven
and glory in the highest.”
Luke 19: 36-38 (also in Mt. 21 & Mk. 11)
Praise. Joy. Jubilation. The prophet has come to Jerusalem! But. But. More than a prophet. More than a prophet’s proclamations. Yet prophets die in Jerusalem: ‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you, desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.” ’ (Mt. 23: 37-39). More than just a prophet’s death.
How quickly we go from welcoming to condemning. Sunday we welcome, by Friday we condemn. This movement is captured in our liturgies, echoing almost eerily our own lives. “Praise God! I bring my children to church and we know Christ is in the Eucharist!” and in the same breath “I chose my own aims over that which God might provide me in my daily life” But we’re here on Sunday. Excuses. My own. Others. Sinners we all are, and all gathered before Christ, who died for us while we were yet still in our most sinful state. Even while I still make these choices that separate Christ from myself, Christ is dying for me. He chose death, painful, humiliating death, for love of me. Of you. Of his people, everyone. Cosmically. I praise him and I make choices that separate me from him in the same day, the same hour; and in all of this, all I can do is stand in awe of this gift so freely given and make reconciliation with my God so that I can freely choose Love. For it is abundantly poured out.
Free download for Holy Week: From Palms to Passion – an image for your desktop during Holy Week. We crown him Hosanna on Sunday and replace that crown with thorns on Friday. In solemness let us enter into this week reminded of that great glory raised high for us and how our cup overflows with his mercy.
Easter week I will be doing a couple giveaways! Keep your eyes peeled for them, you won’t want to miss them!