As we enter Holy Week with the celebration of Palm Sunday Pastor Judy Beaumont and I are thankful to worship this day of victory with an ominous foreshadowing together but sad and nostalgic for we miss presiding and being the celebrants for our Good Shepherd Community. Despite her difficult illness that demands so much of our attention,we are able to pastor our flock on some levels but not hold regular Mass and Services. We envision our people in various constellations in other churches this morning and we are thankful for that, but we miss them. And this puts us in tune with Jesus as he enjoyed his people, and struggled with them for life and understanding and as he had to leave them and continue in his own suffering until Easter Sunday. Palm Sunday reminds us once again that every moment of joy is temporal and Holy Week shows us that even as Jesus had to say his goodbyes on Holy Thursday he used it to show us once again how to serve one another. And even from the Cross he could love and teach and experience a different kind of victory. And oh, how glorious is the resurrection after all of that!
I will present some very challenging reflections of three Roman Catholic Women Priests,myself included, and one Episcopal woman Priest who has served the homeless. One of the benefits of “semi-retirement” is that we can enjoy the reflections of others and take the time to learn from them. Today Pastor Judy B and I , through the miracle of telecommunications, experienced the Papal Nuncio’s homily at The National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and also the Pope’s Palm Sunday Mass. Watching the huge and diverse crowds of worshipers did our hearts good! The gathering of young people for youth Sunday at the Vatican also lifted our hearts, especially as the Polish youth gave the Panamanian youth the large worn wooden cross to continue its journey to Panama where the next world youth Sunday will be in 2018. We join Pope Francis in saying that if the cross is not passed on to young people the church will wither and die. Both Pope Francis and Archbishop Christophe Pierre said strongly that walking with Christ this week means to walk with the poor, and those in the throes of turmoil, terror,sickness, war and oppression. While we celebrate the church from the bottom up it is good to hear the message of Jesus from the top down at times like this as well. And the terrorist Isis bombings in the Coptic Christian churches in Egypt today breaks our hearts and calls us to prayer.
From Rev. Deniray Mueller, denidoulos blog
A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.” (Matthew 21:8-11)
We celebrate Palm Sunday today – the day that Jesus made a triumphal entrance into Jerusalem. . . and the beginning of a week that brought denial, betrayal, a trial, crucifixion and finally, resurrection.
This coming “holy week” is the culmination of Jesus’ life – the reason He came as God’s son. We experience a wide range of emotions as we move through the week.
It is the time of the Jewish Passover – a time when people came home to celebrate with their families. It was a holiday then, and still is today, a time to be with family and celebrate with the Passover meal.
If you use your imagination for just a moment, you can feel the press of the people as they gather along the road from Bethany to Jerusalem. You can smell the dust, and the donkeys, you can hear the crowd. You can see the brightly colored holiday clothes of festive pilgrims gathering in Jerusalem.
You can feel the excitement in the air; you may find yourself climbing a tree to break down a palm branch, and then straining to see through all the other waving branches. Off in the distance, a muffled roar, indistinguishable words, then a cheer, and then a chant: “Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna!” You may even find yourself shouting
“Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9)
Soon the road was jammed with pilgrims and locals alike. They joined the disciples in laying their cloaks across the path to show Jesus honor. They broke branches from the palm trees and waved them in the air, and spread them on the road. While the cloaks and the palm branches make this a procession fit for a king, the cheers of the people were even more significant.
“Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9)
It was a great celebration!! People were happy and joyful, celebrating life.
But it was also the last week of Jesus’ life.
In the jubilation of Palm Sunday, we forget that in a few short days Jesus will be betrayed, arrested, tried, abandoned, whipped, spit upon, slapped, scourged, tortured with a crown of thorns, mocked, ridiculed, and ultimately nailed on a cross. And the same crowds that had sung “Hosannas” at his arrival, would shout “Crucify Him!” – and ask Pilate to release Barabbas and put Jesus to death.
Their love for the Lord was shallow and based entirely on their hope of what exciting things he could do for them. In their confusion, and anger, and fear, those who on Sunday had welcomed Jesus as their new messiah, by Friday had turned on him, disappointed in Jesus and their continued lives under the Roman rule. So tired of all they could not control, they cried out for vengeance they could control. If Jesus would not be their king and free them, then they might as well get rid of Him.
Jesus knew that the end of his earthly ministry was near. It was time to do what he had come to do. It was now or never; he was ready to be obedient to God, and to accomplish the purpose set out for him. The road on Palm Sunday was not a road to freedom. It was the road to sacrifice. It was not the road to power, it was the road to humility and humiliation. It was not the road to fame, it was the road to death. It was not the road the crowd thought; it was the road God had planned.
None of us knows just how long each of our lives will be, how much time we have left. Every time we learn of someone who dies young, we are reminded of that.
None of us can know all that the future holds. We don’t know how long we will be on this earth. But we can know that God has a purpose for us. He calls us to love him and love others with the kind of love that He showed us when he sacrificed His only Son. He calls us to speak out the truth, to reach out our hands, to hold out our hearts.
And he calls us to do that now. When we think we are not ready to make a commitment, that is the best time to do it. God doesn’t expect us to be perfect. He just wants us to try. . . try a little each and every day.
And that day is now.
We don’t know how many more days there will be. We cannot afford to miss even one.
It is time to try to live our lives in the way Jesus taught. We are to
“Love one another as we love ourselves” (John 13:34-35)
Jesus gave his life for us; we can do no less to honor Him.
Let us pray:
Creator who loves us dearly, thank you for sending Jesus to be our redeemer. No matter how, or where or when we worship you, we want to do it to honor you and not ourselves. May we reflect Jesus’ passion and share in your grace. In the name of the Son of David we pray. Amen.
Delivered at In The Garden, Trinity Episcopal Church on Capitol Square, Columbus, OH; 9 April 2017
rev deniray | 04/09/2017 at 5:40 am | Tags: Holy Week, John 13:34-35, Matthew 21:8-11, Palm Sunday, Passover | Categories: Sermons | URL: http://wp.me/p3CZwj-zA
From Rev. Beverly Bingle, RCWP
Homily for the Mass
Jesus spent his life doing what real leaders do.
He poured his life
into working for the poor and despised and vulnerable.
He spoke truth to power.
He went about doing good.
Because he did not hide
from the consequences of doing good,
he was tortured and killed.
In both life and death, Jesus reflects
what God’s power and God’s love really are:
giving oneself to others.
In today’s reading from the Hebrew scriptures
we heard about Isaiah’s Suffering Servant
and the true leadership that requires
speaking the word that will rouse the weary,
trusting in God,
and going forward regardless of the consequences.
And we heard from Paul
how the divine presence in Jesus
moved him to humility and obedience
throughout life and unto death,
ready and willing to pour himself out for others.
The Gospel accounts of the events
leading up to and including the death of Jesus
are full of references to the Hebrew Scriptures.
Like the infancy narratives,
these passion narratives
either quote directly or echo
the Hebrew Scriptures in almost every verse.
The message is simple,
shared by Christians and Jews and Muslims
and people of good will the world over:
we are one people with one God,
called to love God and love one another,
no matter what happens to us.
But we know that the way of Jesus
has been rejected and condemned throughout history,
even by those who claim to follow him.
Just think of our crusades, our inquisition, our slaves, our wars.
And it still goes on.
All over our country, from Ferguson to Chicago,
from California to North Carolina,
from coal country to central Toledo,
people are afraid that if they really follow Jesus,
they will lose their white privilege
or political power
or tax loopholes.
They would have to share resources
and act out of concern for other people’s rights
to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Holy Week asks us pointed questions:
Do we act with justice?
Love our neighbors?
Go about doing good?
No matter what it costs us?
If we can say yes, we try,
then we’re on the right path.
Thanks be to God!
Holy Spirit Catholic Community
Saturdays at 4:30 p.m./Sundays at 5:30 p.m.
Holy Thursday, April 13, 5:30 p.m. Mass of the Lord’s Supper
Easter Mass of the Resurrection, Saturday, April 15, 5:30 p.m.
at 3925 West Central Avenue
Toledo, OH 43606
Rev. Dr. Bev Bingle, Pastor
Mailing address: 3156 Doyle Street, Toledo, OH 43608-2006
Rev.Judy’s Palm Sunday Homily 2014
Churches all over the world will be adorned in palm branches this Sunday commemorating the joyful entry of Jesus into Jerusalem seated on the back of a donkey. In our church as in many Roman Catholic and other churches, people will gather outside in a procession to the church carrying palms and singing Hosanna, Hosanna in the Highest, as was done for the first time by the crowd welcoming Jesus into Jerusalem.
The Gospel of Matthew (21:1-11) will be read and we will see Jesus enacting the prophecy about the coming of Zion’s ruler in Zechariah 9:9-10. “Rejoice in heart and soul….Shout with gladness daughter of Jerusalem! Look! Your ruler comes to you: victorious and triumphant, humble, riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”(TIB) The NAB translation of this verse read: “Shout for joy…See, your king shall come to you; a just savior he is, meek and riding on the foal of an ass”. The Peshitta (Near Eastern translation from Jesus’ Aramaic) reads “…he is righteous and a Savior, lowly and riding…upon a colt, the foal of an ass”. The fulfillment of this prophecy about the Messiah is why Jesus sent his disciples to get the colt he would ride on into Jerusalem. To ride on a donkey in that age was more a sign of humiliation than royalty, for only the poor rode on donkeys. Royalty rode on fine horses or in transport pulled by powerful steeds. So, here is Jesus the king of the poor and outcast, for he had loved them, healed them, taught them and won their hearts, now welcomed by them with great joy. They spread their cloaks on the ground before him and shouted “Hosanna” which means “Save” in Hebrew but is a song of praise. Matthew’s Gospel says “the whole city was stirred up” at his arrival.
The account of Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem is in all four Gospels. John’s Gospel (Ch 12) adds that the people recalled the raising of Lazarus and thronged around him. “Look, the whole world has gone after him! (12:19b). In Luke’s (Ch 19) account Jesus was asked by the Pharisees to quiet his disciples. He said that if they were quiet even the stones would cry out! This was a time of acclamation and joy, the universe itself was in accord. I think that the joyful shouts of acclamation filled Jesus’ heart and even for a short while he knew that despite what lied ahead, and he had already predicted that, he had accomplished his mission, the ordinary, the poor, the sick and the outcast along with his other disciples, men and women and children, knew who he was and would carry on his work. This deep knowledge and his always close Abba, Amma God (Papa, Mama) gave him the strength to face what was ahead of him.
And, then as he drew close to Jerusalem, Jesus wept for Jerusalem and the people as they did not accept the prophets before him, or him-“you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you”- and destruction not peace would come to them. The oppressors would win after all in Jerusalem and for this, he wept. Then, he entered the Temple and further enraged the authorities by throwing out the money changers and the sellers of animals, doves and others, for sacrifice. In essence, He set those birds and animals free and put the place where God was supposed to live back into God- perspective. God doesn’t want any form of animal or living sacrifice, God wants lives and hearts full of justice and love for everyone. This is to be a house of prayer! The ensuing parable of the tenants in the vineyard (Matt 21: 33-45) where the owner has to send his son because the others collecting the debt were killed and the son is also killed but the vineyard is given to other tenants, tells us what will happen next.
On Palm Sunday I like to savor the victory with Jesus. Jesus joy was short lived because his work was not done-he kept on going with his actions and his teaching. I think the strength of the Heartfelt Hosannas propelled him on. I also think that it may well have been a different crowd that shouted “crucify him” while his loyal group of lowly folks, lowly like him, were overwhelmed by the greater powerful interests of the religious establishment and the Roman Oppressors.
The Roman Catholic Liturgy really rushes Jesus’ moments of victory as once the palms are placed down, the entire Passion is read for the Gospel. Yes, Jesus will be killed in a brutal and slow tortuous way. But even there he will make a statement of victory. When we rely on the English translations from the Greek alone we may miss this shout of victory from the Cross. In Matthew 27:46 we have Jesus saying the Aramaic words “Eli, Eli, L’mana Sabachtani.” In English that is translated “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” It is phrased as a question and is taken to mean the abandonment of God. But Aramaic scholar Rocco Errico (Let There Be Light, pp. 12-13) points out, it can also be understood as a declaration: “O God! O God To what (a purpose) You have kept me!” or “O Sustainer, O Sustainer! To what a purpose you have left me.” “Left” does not mean abandoned but it means spared to fulfill an end or destiny”. God never forsook or abandoned Jesus, and God will never forsake us. It is a cry of “I have accomplished it” (Like the “it is finished” in other accounts). The Lamsa version of the Aramaic translates, “for this was my destiny!” In other words, in addition to the words of forgiveness and inclusion (for the thief) from the Cross we have a sense of completion of Jesus’ work -only to be topped by the resurrection! And that indeed is the conclusion of Holy week-rising from the dead!
Amen to the Victory of Palm Sunday and the Victory of the Cross-God is with us until the end, and will raise us up! Amen!!!
Rev. Dr. Judy Lee, RCWP
Palm Sunday 2015 at the Good Shepherd Inclusive Catholic Community
First there was the Procession all around the church building carrying Palms and shouting Hosanna>.Inside of the church all heads were bowed as the priests venerated the altar. Then Cyrillia Rismay led us in singing “Enter Into Jerusalem” , a popular hymn in her country of St. Lucia. It begins:
“Let us go to God’s house
With the healthy and the sick
The worker and the weak;
Let us go to God”s house
Enter into Jerusalem.
Let us go to God’s house
Swaying with the breeze
With the God who reigns in peace,
Let us go to God’s house.
We will celebrate,
We will celebrate,
We will celebrate, O Israel….”
And celebrate we did, even as we read the Passion in several parts and felt every blow and insult hurled at Jesus. This is a Congregation that has been to the Cross in every day life. For us, Jesus triumphs not only on the ride into Jerusalem but on the Cross. He cries out through the pain that he forgives and that he completed his work. That is a wonderful thing to feel as life ends. We are blessed to know that he will rise in three days. But we can wait and be with him in his dying and burial because of the triumph of the Cross.
Rev. Chava Redonnet’s Reflection
On Palm Sunday I think of something Dom Helder Camara of Brazil said once,
that he imagined himself in the Triumphal Procession into Jerusalem… and he
was the donkey. That’s a lovely image for us as church: to be God-bearers
for each other, bringers of love. We don’t have to be perfect, we don’t
have to get everything right: we can be humble bearers of the love of God.
I guess I was a God-bearer for a man I met this week who remembered the
joy of community from the past, too, because it gave him so much
joy to learn that I was there, too. He ended his recitation of what we’d
done on those marches, holding out his arms to me and saying joyfully, “And
YOU were there, TOO!”Another day this week, I met a different man. This other man had cut
himself off from everyone in his life. Everyone he was related to, he spoke
of with anger and disgust. When I asked about God, he said, “There is no
God!” I listened to his litany of anger and rejection, and finally said,
“Sounds like a lonely life.” Tears filled his eyes. This man seemed to me
like a cell without water, unable to connect with anyone around him, not
even God. He didn’t want prayer but I told him I would send good energy his
way. He liked that. Maybe that’s a little crack of openness to love in his
soul. I hope so.Lastly, a story from our Sunday Mass at St Romero’s last week. We were a
very small group. Just as we were about to share Communion, he left the
room, using his telephone. I was surprised but went on, serving communion
and praying, then just waiting for him. Finally he came back. “I just
remembered,” he said. “Jesus said if you’re mad at someone you need to
reconcile before you come to the altar. So I had to call someone and
apologize before I came to communion.”Look for God wherever you are, this week! May we all be God-bearers for
each other, carriers of love and hope. Have a blessed Holy Week.
Blessings and love to all,
Oscar Romero Church
An Inclusive Community of Liberation, Justice and Joy
Worshiping in the Catholic Tradition
Mass: Sundays, 11 am
St Joseph’s House of Hospitality
402 South Ave, Rochester NY 14620
HAVE A BLESSED PALM SUNDAY!