Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,
Today is the only day in our liturgical year when we hear two Gospel readings. We begin with Jesus’ triumphal entrance into Jerusalem to shouts of “King” and “Son of David.” We end with Jesus on the cross, mocked by the very same crowd. Praise and vilification, joy and despair, all in the span of a single hour. This is the drama of Salvation, and it is played out in all its ugliness and cruelty, culminating in all its shining glory in the hope of the Resurrection and its promise of new life.
These Gospel readings are not just historical narratives. The procession with palms and the reading of the Passion are not just dramatic recreations. It is a description of our own reality today. Each of us can praise and vilify, sometimes in the same sentence. Each of us experiences joy and despair, sometimes within minutes of each other. Each of us contains all aspects of all the characters in the drama – Peter and Judas, Pilate, the women who braved the horrors of the Cross to stay by Jesus ‘side, and the men who fled and abandoned Him early on. They all, good, bad, and indifferent, reside in ourselves. And in the center of this storm is Jesus Christ, the Suffering Servant who loved the world, and each of us, to death.
We do not have a post Passion encounter with the characters, per se. We do not know how well Pilate slept, or did not sleep, that night. Or who from the crowd regretted their part but doubled down on their behavior to save face and hide from a part of themselves they despise. We do not know – but we do know, because we know how those parts of ourselves react in the face of such love.
As we journey together as a community through this Holy Week, I invite you to join me in unflinchingly exposing to God the parts of ourselves in need of healing, in need of forgiveness, in need of grace. Jesus plunges into the darkest depths of our humanity and draws us up into the brightest light of the Father’s love. May this healing light be a balm for our wounds, a comfort for our sorrow, and a spark for our imagination.
I wish you and your loved ones Passiontide blessings of good health, new hope, and a new appreciation of God’s immense love for you ,
Please take a moment to read our Carmel Mission Weekly Bulletin.