Monday, March 26, 2007

Palm/Passion Sunday – B

Palm/Passion Sunday – B

Years B
Palm Sunday
Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
Mark 11:1-11 or John 12:12-16
Passion Sunday
Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 31:9-16
Philippians 2:5-11
Mark 14:1 - 15:47


Palms: Here at least permission is directly given for the lending or leasing of a colt (perhaps because it only entailed one animal? [grin]). Or, a young donkey is "found".

It is instructive that the Gospels (at least part of them) are written from the perspective of the resurrection. Later folks remembered more than they knew at the time. This remembrance was just in time to be recorded as eternal truth for all time. In this circle we are freed, if we desire to live in freedom, to anticipate future insight as well as newly appreciating past experiences. It is helpful to both name the original understanding and the later revision. This grounds both in a larger reality of growth and allows a better appreciation of the witness.

A process of "midrash" is still of the utmost importance to breaking through the religious restrictions that have accumulated down through the years about expected meaning of particular passages. These midrash moments are appropriately responded to with, "Hosanna!"

Passion: Any of the numberless deadly sins could be used as a lens for this section. An easy one to use is that of greed. The set up is John's version of an anointing story and the harassing of the woman on the basis of perceived loss of revenue (greed excused as a good thing because it is "concerned" about the poor - not that they would have received any real help after an appropriate amount of administrative costs and overhead were taken out).

From there we can ask about greed of position, greed of power, and greed of control (all experiences can be commoditized).

We can also ask about generosity as we follow the story of a number of Marys. They offer their time and energy to a faithful presence. It is not as though they have any position, power, or control - they simply are witnessing. I am reminded of the women of the disappeared who publicly dance in solitude with the missing loved ones. To speak would be to be disappeared, but their act of witness is critical.

= = = = = = =

looking back brings new insight
mining experience is valuable
we polish events
bringing their deeper significance
to the surface

standing quietly by
witnessing events is valuable
we avoid secrets
pushing common realities
into the background

hands over eyes, mouth, ears
quickly diminish values
we increase ignorance
keeping insight restricted
to authorized versions

looking standing vulnerable
caring presence is valuable
we join life
partnering common good
with uncommon good

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