I am sitting on the edge of Holy Week. It has been a great day.
Today St Aidan’s hosted a retreat at Brescia University College. It was a pre Holy Week prep session really. Many thanks to Murray Watson for a great ‘Walk Through Holy Week.’ Murray was a terrific guide. He walked us from the gates of the Holy City, to the Upper Room, to the Foot of the Cross. Beginning tomorrow, we will make that journey liturgically as we come together each day of Holy Week.
Tomorrow it begins. Today we were reminded that Passion Sunday was not just a nice parade. Palm Sunday is a response to a political culture that needs to be challenged. As Marcus Borg outs it;
On Sunday, Palm Sunday, Jesus entered Jerusalem from the east in a procession riding on a donkey cheered by his followers. At the same time, a Roman imperial procession of troops and cavalry entered the city from the west, headed by Pilate. Their purpose was to reinforce the Roman garrison stationed near the temple for the season of Passover, when tens (hundreds?) of thousands of Jewish pilgrims filled the city.
The contrast between Jesus’ entry and the imperial entry sounds the central conflict that unfolds during the rest of the week. Jesus’ mode of entry was symbolic, signifying that the kingdom of which he spoke was a kingdom of peace. According to the prophet Zechariah, the king entering Jerusalem on a donkey was to banish the weapons of war from the land and speak peace to the nations. The kingdom of Rome on the other hand was based on violence and the threat of violence.
It is clear from Mark that Jesus pre-arranged this way of entering the city. In modern language, it was a planned political demonstration. Of course, it was also religious: Jesus did so because of his passion for God and the kingdom of God.
We begin our day by day Holy Week journey reminded that the parade that is marching by, Jesus riding high on a donkey, is a parade that we may wish to join. It is a parade toward justice. It is a demonstration against corruption and violence. It is a Peace Rally…. will we join…..? What will it cost…..? We have much to consider!
Take time this week to reflect on the last days of Jesus’s earthly walk. At St Aidan’s you can do so at these times;
Passion Sunday – 8 am and 10:30 am
Holy Monday – 7:30 pm – Mary Washes Jesus Feet
Holy Tuesday – 7:30 pm – My Soul is Troubled….
Holy Wednesday – 6:46 pm – One of you will Betray me….
Holy/Maundy Thursday – 7:30 pm – Footwashing and Holy Eucharist
Good Friday – 10:30 am – It is Finished
Holy Saturday – 8 pm – THE GREAT EASTER VIGIL