I wish you all a blessed Holy Week! I’m going to try to post a reflection each day this week.
This week, we reflect on the way of the cross, as we prepare ourselves for a triumphant Easter.
We are an Easter people, forever transformed by Jesus’ triumph over sin and suffering and death. And the way of the cross quantifies that triumph.
All over the world today there are people living in hopelessness, oppression, fear, hunger, disease, depression, exploitation, abuse, neglect, pain, and addiction. Jesus is with them, and he is with us no matter what we face. He has already trod where we are going, he has already suffered what we will suffer. And he has redefined our lives. We are not citizens of this world but citizens of heaven. We have been given eternal life. But the story does not end there.
We are called out into the world to be the hands and heart of Jesus. To touch the untouchable, love the unlovable, to cross the barriers in our society and in our hearts that divide us from each other. We are called to love- no matter what! And it is the “no matter what” that defines the power of love.
On Palm Sunday, we processed into the cathedral waving neem branches we had plucked from the trees around the cathedral (not many palms around). The branches also proved useful for shooing flies during the service, and fanning ourselves since the power was off. Mama Janet, who was preaching, reminded us to open the gates of our hearts to welcome Jesus in, waving our branches and shouting "Hosanna!" And she told us, once he is welcomed, we should make him a place there so that he might stay forever.
We do not need to rely on our own strength. Jesus is with us, the Spirit is in us.