On Saturday evening, April 4, we were once again blest to have Eucharist. We remembered each of you in our celebration.
“Let us run to accompany him as he hastens toward his passion, and imitate those who met him then, not by covering his path with garments, olive branches or palms, but by doing all we can to prostrate ourselves before him by being humble and by trying to live as he would wish. Then we shall be able to receive the Word at his coming, and God, whom no limits can contain, will be within us.” From sermon by St Andrew of Crete
“My God my God, why have you abandoned me?” Palm Sunday/Passion Sunday, is a time to move from an event that happened two thousand years ago to who we are today. Literally, the whole world is affected. We are hurting, confused, frightened, haunted, and wishing we could just wake up from this nightmare. Is it any different than the nightmare of the Apostles who just in a matter of hours lost the one in whom they had put all their hopes and expectations? Is it any different than the regret of Peter whose last words of denial kept playing over and over in his mind? Is it any different from the emptiness Mary felt, holding her Son’s crucified and lifeless body? Is it any different from the fear of the disciples locked in the upper room, wondering if they were going to be next? None of this made any sense sense at the time of them living through it. As we listened and read the Passion from Matthew, we, too/ are called to live and pray this truth. Here is a question we ask ourselves: “Do I see Christ Crucified today?” This is a reality which we live with and are being asked to internalize. Instead of pleading to God to change this situation, can I begin to see how the suffering of Christ is a reality in the suffering of humanity? Indeed, Christ chooses to suffer with us in our afflictions.
Two thousand years ago, the whole world was affected by the death of Jesus. That event changed the face of humanity. Today, in the midst of the pandemic event of human suffering, we sit, ponder, and prayerfully meditate with the Passion of Christ from both the historical and contemporary dimensions. As Jesus did not abandon us even in His suffering, so, too, are we assured of His presence in this challenging time. We pray from the core of our being, not as defeated people, but people who know that God is faithful to the splendor of the resurrection. We walk with you closely this Holy Week, like we have never walked it before…”But you, O Lord, be not far from me; O my help, hasten to aid me.” Ps. 22