Sunday, March 29, 2015

Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion

Yes, we are clueless. The crowds with their cloaks and leafy branches. The disciples and their sense of when to be indignant and when to fall asleep. The naked young man running for his life. And Peter, so brave, until he knows the stakes. Even Jesus, very human Jesus, who believes himself forsaken, if only for a moment. Despite our prayers and rituals and lovely theologies, we understand neither the kingdom, nor the Brother who lights a path to its doorstep. We still expect truth and grace to conform to certain rules; not our Parent's rules mind you, but our own. We remain as blind as those who cried out for Barabbas or who pounded in the nails. Such is how we enter this holy week. But it is not how we have to exit it. The tomb is an invitation, not just a memory. Will you accept it?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Fifth Sunday of Lent

"A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me." Let this be our mantra as we enter into the last of these forty days. We cannot hope to be free of sin in this life. But we can plead for a heart that refuses to avert its eyes from our sins or to pretend that they are anything other than what they are, even as we commit them. And we can beg for a spirit that calmly bears both the just guilt of our own evil and the unjust suffering brought on by our neighbors' disobedience, even as we strive to wash them all away. Now, these might not be the gifts we long for at Easter, but they are the ones we need if we hope to enter into the mystery that is divine mercy.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Fourth Sunday of Lent

"Let my tongue be silenced, if I ever forget you!" But we do forget. Babylon enchants us, even those who see it for what it is. We adopt its ways, even as we try to transform it. We are lost. Which is why we so desperately need these forty days. They are a time for silence and tears, that the fog might be cleared from our hearts and minds. And when it has, we might remember that Zion is not a place, but rather a promise, an oath of love from Parent to child that can never be taken from us.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Third Sunday of Lent

Sometimes love means picking up a whip. No, this is not the sign we demanded, nor the wisdom we were looking for, but it is the truth we must proclaim. Our Parent's love is not fluffy or weak, nor does it suffer fools or tricksters. Its purpose is to refresh our souls, not to coddle them, for God desires us to taste a joy that never loses its sweetness. Which means we oftentimes need to hear a resounding chorus of "You shall not." Such grace might not be music to our ears, but it is, without a doubt, proof that something wonderful awaits us. So let us invite the divine whip into our hearts for the duration of these forty days, that we too might be consumed with zeal for our Parent's houses.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Second Sunday of Lent

How many of us cringe at the thought of Abraham offering up his only son to the Holy One? And yet, how many of us gladly sacrifice our brothers and sisters in service of far pettier deities? Lust. Greed. Fear. We would much rather listen to them than any angel of mercy telling us to stay our hands. So let us spend the remainder of these forty days in mourning for those siblings whose souls and bodies we have maimed and destroyed. Let us pick someone each day and weep for them. The friend whom we threw under the bus. The enemy whom we judged as deserving of our wrath. The stranger whom we wrote off as collateral damage. And through our tears we might hear a voice proclaim, "These are my precious children. Love them." And then, perhaps, we will finally be ready to listen to our Brother, and to join him in walking beside our Parent in the land of all that is.