All is ready now for the final days of our Lenten journey with Jesus. The stage is set for the drama of the Paschal Mystery to be re-enacted in the parishes throughout the world. There are parishes around which are filled with life. I hope you can find one.
I have found a parish south of Fort Lauderdale, St. Maurice in Davie, which has been doing liturgy well and devotedly for many years. People there are alive, spontaneous, welcoming. Their eyes sparkle with joy ~ in this neighborhood with many elderly folks.
As I participated in the liturgy of Palm Sunday , I pondered Jesus’ humility and am grateful that he whittled my aberrant ego down to size. Philippians today says Jesus “emptied himself of his equality with God and became obedient even unto death.”
I know what humiliation feels like; After a while, it made me humble. I am a marginalized person with a mental illness and other things. But I rejoice I have found my way to a home here in Cypress Chase A condominium, as an ordinary person.
As the crowds hailed him as King and shouted “Hosanna to the Son of David! and threw cloaks and palm branches at his feet, I wonder what he was thinking. He surely knew that the end was near. What was his prayer as he looked into the faces of the crowd of well-wishers who would abandon him a few days later when the going got rough?
First, the renewal of the priesthood which I find sadly in disarray these days. Reflecting on Hebrews this week I had a renewed sense of the meaning of Jesus’ priesthood. He was to stand in the breach and offer his own life as sacrifice. I pray that we priests would do the same ~ to heroically offer our own selves as gift for the people we have been ordained to shepherd.
I understand the meaning of Jesus’ priesthood more fully, more personally ~ and I commit myself to this charge and ideal ~ to help our people find the meaning that will inspire all of us, church and society to be purified, cleansed and made holy.
This in the midst of the messiness of of our economy
of our own personal and family life
of the superficiality, the unreality and lack of moral courage in American culture today
and yes, the messiness of our church.
I unite myself as I have for many years with my priest/brothers who bear the heat of the day. I will pray for you, for us, fully and richly this week.
And secondly, I continue to pray for the transformation of America. This economic crisis is, in fact, an answer to my prayer in some ways because the shock of it might wake us up before we go over the cliff . We have to return to being One Nation Under God.
The humble man who rode into his city on a donkey, not a stunning white stallion as a mighty conqueror is the Jesus I know and love. I need to follow his way.
allow us to slow down our activity this Holy Week
to unite ourselves in your high priestly prayer
for the reconciliation of the world.
May we be wiling to give of ourselves and accept our crosses
as a way of building up Your kingdom of love here in our world today.
Hosanna to You, the Son of David!
Before you go, here is a beautiful song performed by some very devout young people ~ “Behold the Lamb of God”. Be sure to enter full screen. Have a fruitful Holy Week. I will publish again later in the week.