Newsletter – Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, 14 April 2019

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For a full copy of the Newsletter please click on the link; Palm Sunday 14042019

As Jesus was drawing near, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice

and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying,

“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!

Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

Readings: (Entrance: Lk 19:28-40); Is 50:4-7; Phil 2:6-11; Lk 22:14 - 23:56

 

Dear Friends,

Death, it seems, is so final. Today, we seal the tomb. We walk away, everything done and dusted. We can do the same in life as in death. We can bury everything inside us – every disappointment, doubt, fear, anxiety, sadness, anger – and pretend that it is all done and dusted. In the process, we bury ourselves alive.

Let’s face it: this story of Passion Sunday is the story of failure. I don’t want to spoil the ending, but Jesus dies. The Kingdom doesn’t come. The dream becomes a nightmare of betrayal, desertion, cowardice, deceit, brutality.

One last cry of surrender is followed by one last breath. Is this how it all really ends? For Jesus? For any of us? Are we condemned to a slow death, forced to bury all remnant of hope inside us?

But the real lesson today is not about how to die.

The real lesson today is about how to live.

Jesus’ death teaches us that there is more to dying than death, and there is more to life than being buried alive.

This is the story of love pushed to its very limits, reaching out beyond the edge of darkness.

And what happens? Again, I really don’t want to spoil the ending, but there is no ending, not today anyway. The slow death of our defeats, our disappointments, our doubts, our fears, our anxieties, our sadnesses, our angers, our slavery to sin – these crosses of shame – is broken open. Love – the Greatest Love – bursts forth in a way that is utterly surprising, utterly unexpected, and utterly astonishing.

So here is the real lesson: Life can be a slow kind of death only if our glaze is turned so deeply inside us that we fail to see that the tomb always remains open. God, in Jesus, breaks open the door to life and love forever and ever and ever. Death, and all our little deaths in life, need not be deaths at all. Because of Jesus, everything that seems deadly, is, in reality, turned on its head and becomes the story of possibility, life and love. Even Death, it seems, is not so final after all. The glimmer of light we see today will become the brightest of Easter Light from Light, destroying every darkness and death.

Fr. Anthony