Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Perplexing Passion of Palm Sunday

I'll admit ... I've always been confused on Palm Sunday.

It is a happy day? A sad day?  Neither?  Both?

The name itself ... Palm Sunday.  It sounds happy to me.  (At the very least, neutral, right?)

Jesus enters the city of Jerusalem and people rejoice, shouting "Hosanna!".  In my mind, that is a beautiful scene.  I mean, wouldn't you smile if people rejoiced when you entered your town?

Then I think of the image of Jesus, our Savior, atop a foal. What a sad image that must have been to see our King riding such a meek animal.  Imagine a government official, or very important person, entering a town today riding a small bike with training wheels instead of a caravan of impressive limousines.  It would look awkward, silly, and a certainly not have the pomp and circumstance representative of that person's status.

And while the people are shouting praises at Him, Our Lord must be thinking about his upcoming death.  

In fact, that scene itself is pure irony on many levels.   

The people that are blind to the story are the happiest, even though their desired storyline pales in comparison to what God will give them. Meanwhile, the One who knows all must have have been carrying the weight of reality on His shoulders - despite knowing what a Glorious story He was about to write.  

So, like most days in Lent, I chalk it up as a mostly sad day leading up to the happiest day in the history of mankind.   

Except when I think of it as a mostly happy day that led to the saddest day in the history of mankind. 

Which, of course, then led to a really, really happy day...

God Bless you, and hope you have a very spiritual Holy Week!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Four Questions about the Transfiguration

The Transfiguration is one of the most amazing stories we read in our Gospels.  Unfortunately, even as I grow to understand it more and more each year, it always leaves me with some questions ...
  1. Why did Jesus only bring three Apostles with Him?  Why not let them all see the Glory of Father and Son?
  2. What did God's voice sound like?  I mean, they heard God!  Mark describes how white Jesus' clothes are ... I wish he had also described God's voice.
  3. What mountain were they on?  Some scholars think it was Mt Tabor, some think it was Mt Hermon.  
  4. After the event, Mark tells us the three Apostles wondered what "rising from the dead" meant.  Why did they not ask Jesus more about that until they understood more?  Or did they ask Him, and He didn't explain further? 
Some of these are not for us to know right now.  Maybe someday.  

For now, we are left pondering the wonder of this miraculous event, and contemplating how we, too, can change to become more like Christ.

I hope you are having a Blessed Lent.