Palm Sunday is a curious celebration. The heart longs for stillness, waiting for those last days – or mine does – and yet this beginning of Holy Week is full of re-enactment, acclamation, procession, that sit oddly, almost, before the long Gospel account of the crucifixion of our Lord. The Liturgy of the Palms precedes the Liturgy of the Passion, with this year the long reading from Luke’s Gospel (22.14-23.56); and yet there is still most of a long week to go before Good Friday.
The silence is there, of course, beneath the shouting and the waving of palms, beneath the uncanny prophecy of Isaiah chapter 50 and Paul’s hymn from Philippians 2, beneath the accelerating pain of the Passion narrative itself, just as the silence of our own death lies beneath all the laughter and weeping of our own lives here on earth. Good Friday will come, and the stillness of the tomb before that unimaginable morning, and undreamt glory…
[Also published on The Mercy Blog]
Thank you Mike and a blessed and re-newing (re-oneing) Holy Week. I’ve been reading Jan van Ruusbroec. What a writer and mystic he was. Burning up in the love of God — flowing out and flowing in. He never fails holding the paradox of deep celebration of Incarnational life along with Unity — both particularity and oneness in unfathomable love.
Bless you friend from Boulder, CO
Thank you, Stan – and a blessed week to you, too. (I’ve not read van Ruusbroec – only tantalising quotations in other people’s books. I must get a good translation, and remedy this.)