Monday, March 22, 2010

Luke 19:28-40

Lent 6 - Palm Sunday - Year C

Luke 19:28-40

Pericopes that begin with phrases such as, "After he had said this," need an acknowledgement of "what went before" to which this now is an "after". In this particular there is a parable about money in the context of Jericho and Zacchaeus that has two conclusions. The first antecedent is "to all who have, more will be given; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away".

What does Jesus have as he enters Jerusalem? He has his belovedness recognized in or affirmed by baptism. There are fellow-travelers who have no clout or persistence in the face of force. There are accumulated stories and events that raise the political stakes and activate principalities and power. Of these only belovedness counts in his favor. The coming events will further test and confirm belovedness.

The second antecedent is, "as for enemies of mine who do not want me to be in charge -- bring them here and slaughter them in my presence."

While this could well be put in the mouths of the high priests, Pilate, and Herod, it is also a challenge Jesus speaks to them with his entrance to Jerusalem. One of the issues we need to wrestle with is that of timing. Is this reversal immediate or eventual? A second issue is that of effectiveness. Is it an implicit death, their policies contain their own downfall, or is explicit, external power against power?

With this setting we come to verse 40, "if these people are silenced, stones would shout." It pushes us back to belovedness. Stones have previously been seen to be the locus of potential life - water and bread. Stones are earth, stones are mud. Stones are also the money given to slaves in the preceding parable. Stones are concentrated creation. Stones are persistent in remembering what they have experienced and will stick to such no matter how they might be crushed (in fact being crushed allows them to be wind-borne to take the tale further abroad).

Imagine here a city built of singing stones (aural walls in place of bejeweled walls) recounting and anticipating peace between earth and heaven, once and future, and you and me. It is this assurance of engaged belovedness and blessedness that will continue as long as Life or G*D.

So, don't get distracted by colts or cloaks - may your belovedness sing, knowing its persistence as a ground of new being.

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