Image: Richardson Mountains, Yukon/NWT Border
With our celebration of Passion Sunday we come to the end of our Lenten journey of fast and sacrifice and enter into the sacred time of Holy week. This is a very intense time in the life our worshipping community. It is a time of highs and lows, peaks and valleys. Today we began with our procession singing hosanna to our King, a symbol of Jesus entering Jerusalem in Glory, the hope of all the people pinned on this one man who was thought to be the long awaited messiah, their saviour from earthly bondage. Our gospel story today ends with same man being taken from a cross and being laid in tomb surrounded by only the few who remained.
Our Holy week is but a microcosm of an entire human lifespan. As we watch the events unfold this week we will recognize ourselves in the faces of many of the characters that we will hear about. At times we have been the faithful disciples that Jesus joyfully breaks bread with. At times we will be the same disciples who cannot stay awake with our Lord for one hour. We have been the adoring crowds who shout hosanna to our King, and we have been the mob that condemns an innocent man.
The one constant factor through it all is the faithfulness of Jesus. Whether praised or scorned, sanctified or vilified Jesus remains faithful to the mission for which he was sent, to be our redeemer.
Through the events of this Holy week we have an opportunity to enter deeply into the mystery of what God has done for us. It is an opportunity to spend some time in quiet and contemplation. To take a step back from the ordinary routine and to express our gratitude to God.
Through our presence at the liturgies of this week we can enter into a special union with Christ. We can walk the road that Jesus walked. Because Jesus was willing to embrace the cup of suffering we can bring meaning to our suffering. Because of Jesus’ faithfulness to his Father’s will we to know that we can live lives of faithful service.
Passion Sunday, Holy week our Easter Triduum, these are sacred times for us, not because of what happened long ago, but because of what God is doing in our lives today, right now, right here. Jesus is our messiah. Not come to free us from earthly bondage but to bring us a freedom much more profound, the freedom of being fully human, fully alive in this life and in the life to come. As we enter into Holy Week, let us welcome our Messiah with open and joyful hearts.