March 25, 2018 Easter Sunday
Welcome Father Peter Today’s Readings: Is 50:4-7 | Phil 2:6-11 | Mk 14:1-15:47
Singing Hosanna; Screaming Crucify
As Jesus and his followers arrive in Jerusalem that first Palm Sunday, the contrast could not be clearer. From the east came a ragtag band of women and men, following a charismatic leader riding a donkey, praying one of the pilgrim psalms: Hosanna, Lord, Hosanna!. Coming from the other direction was rank upon rank of highly trained, professional and no doubt experienced Roman soldiers. The events of this week will play out the tension between these two scenes. Hosanna will be on the lips of some; while others will scream out: Let him be crucified! Let him be crucified! No doubt there were some, caught up in the excitement of the moment, who cried out both that bleak, black week.
We see this scene acted out in the gospels and even now we can feel the tension between the excitement of Jesus and the dread of Rome. We hear the echoes of Hosanna and Crucify reverberating in the air to our own day, and sometimes to our utter shock and horror we hear the same voice crying out both, and the voice is ours. The voice is ours. Like the residents of Jerusalem so long ago we too are caught up in cries of Hosanna and screams of Crucify. Like the residents of Jerusalem we too are fickle in our loyalty following first one and then the other.
This week of all weeks is an exhausting journey because it lays bare for all to see how, even today, we are torn between choices. Sometimes our choices are good, and right and just and in them we hear the echo of that long ago Hosanna. Sometimes our choices are wrong, and selfish and just plain sinful and in them we hear the echo of that long ago Crucify. But we cannot know the power of the Empty Tomb without first knowing the fear of Good Friday. We cannot know the power of Father forgive, without first knowing the ugliness of Crucify. And we cannot know our need of a saviour, both ours and the worlds, without first walking the path that leads from the palm strewn road of Palm Sunday to the fear filled road of Good Friday.
This week is not an easy week because in it we will discover once more all that is within us, both light and dark, both good and evil. But all who seek the Garden of the Resurrection must walk this way. We must hear ourselves sing out Hosanna and we must listen as we scream Crucify. And today we have done just that. We have done just that: singing hosanna and screaming crucify.
Our journey to the Garden has begun. May God grant us all the courage and grace to continue it, so that we may know the power of God’s love which removes from our lips the stain of crucify and places upon them the bloom of hosanna. Our journey to the Garden of the Resurrection must pass this way, so let us begin. Let us begin.
Source: Reflection by Br. James Koester, shortened from https://www.ssje.org/2014/04/13/singing-hosanna-screaming-crucify-br-james-koester/ Image: Orthodox icon, Palm Sunday 16 ct., Monastery of Megalo Meteoro, Greece
- 25 March - Palm Sunday: If you don’t bring your own, you’ll find “palm” branches at the back of the church. After Mass, we’re offered another opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.
- 29 March - Holy Thursday: Mass of the Last Supper will be celebrated in English at 7pm. Father Gideon will be with us that evening.
- 30 March - There will be no Good Friday celebration in English. Please check for services in the parishes around at http://www.stadtkirche-heidelberg.de/html/veranst/gottesdienste348.html
- 1 April - Mass on Easter Sunday will be celebrated at 1pm as usual. We’ll celebrate the Resurrection together after Mass with an Easter social gathering. Bring time and a dish to share if possible!