“Jerusalem, Our Destiny”
As we begin Holy Week with Palm Sunday, our Church invites us to “proceed with Jesus up to Jerusalem”. Almost 40 days ago we began our Lenten Journey in the desert of temptation with Jesus. We climbed the Mountain of Transfiguration and were reminded by God and St. Benedict, to “Listen to Him”. We experienced a compassionate God, who, like a gardener, believes in giving us (the fig tree) second chances to grow and bear fruit. We felt the forgiving embrace of our prodigal God who says, ”My daughter/son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours, I love you”. This past Sunday, we stood with the woman caught in adultery and heard Jesus say, “Neither do I condemn you.”
Time seems to stand still in the Gospel stories we hear, but the Good News is not just about Jesus; it is our story, too. The Good News is for me, you and all of God’s people today. Right Now! Can you find yourself in this Sunday’s Gospel? Where and who are you in this procession as Jesus makes his way into Jerusalem? Are you one of his disciples, a part of the crowd waving the palm branches and laying your cloak on the ground, or are you part of the anonymous multitude looking on?
The journey into Jerusalem happens as we gather as a praying community in our Oratory this evening. Maybe I am one of the Pharisees who is complaining about all the noise and commotion and I tell Jesus to “rebuke your disciples”. Jesus replies to the Pharisees, “I tell you, if they keep silent, the stones will cry out.” Luke tells us that this is no ordinary political rally, but the Messiah and King who will be the Savior of the entire world. In this exchange between Jesus and the Pharisees, we get a glimpse of our Cosmic Christ. All creation and our planet are a part of the power of this redeeming moment.
The Living Word of God invites us to enter into this Jesus Moment and be with him. We are all on our way to Jerusalem with Jesus and his disciples. Where are you proceeding this Day of Palms and with whom? Jerusalem is in the Holy Land and Jesus knows this is where His mission as messiah will be completed. Jerusalem is the place where he will be put on trial, condemned to death, beaten and scourged. It is through the streets of Jerusalem where he will carry his/our cross and finally be nailed to the cross on Golgotha. It is in Jerusalem where we witness the full expression of our Paschal Mystery.
But that is not the end of the story, The Paschal Mystery- the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus, the Christ still goes on in each of us today. Every place where people are being persecuted, terrorized, abused, disrespected and violated, the passion of Christ continues. Jerusalem is in Syria and Libya where refugees and immigrants are seeking freedom from oppression. The passion of Christ continues all over the world and even in our city of Colorado Springs. The Jerusalem journey continues.
There are many global and local Jerusalems. but we also carry our personal Jerusalems. We may be dealing with chronic physical or mental pain, the sudden death of a family member or friend, the struggle of a relative fighting addiction, or longing for acceptance as a gay person by their family. Our Jerusalem story continues when we face our temptations to seek power or control, or seek to be recognized, to feed our false self and ego; the temptation of becoming deaf to the true voice of the Holy Spirit.
As we enter this Holy Week, may we take time to ponder the Jerusalem in our hearts? How is the Paschal Mystery, the life, death, and resurrection being carried out in my life? The Passion of Christ is necessary in the plan of God, but that is not the end. Easter and Resurrection of Jesus is our Hope and Refuge. We will sing and pray at the Easter Vigil, “O wonder of your humble care for us! O truly necessary sin, O Happy fault” There is a New Day Coming. May we be alert and ready!
” We carry the saving cross through the roads of the world through the alleys of poverty and misery, marching to a dawning day, to freedom and victory, to God’s life and endless glory.”