Palm Passion Sunday, 5 April 2020… The churches are empty. Locked. Silence shrouds the pews, in silence, where normally songs of worship and praise are sung. Olive branches, fronds of palms are not to be found, not to be blessed.
Lent, this extraordinary year, comes to a close. Lenten Masses with the faithful were not to be shared. The traditional pilgrimages of the Way of the Cross were not together walked. And in anticipation of this holiest of weeks, remembering our Lord’s holy Passion, we realize this Triduum will not be as tradition would have.
Looking forward to the promise and joy of our Lord’s resurrection, once more, we know that to gather together in celebrations of faith will not be. Holy Sacraments, from God given, will be, in silence, for this time stilled.
WHY? WHERE is GOD? Many suffer sick, dying from the virus plaguing our world. Many faithful, dedicated servants of healing and care suffer in the assault against the body everywhere to be found. Many faith-filled followers of God sicken and die in the deadly embrace. WHY? WHERE is our triumphant Lord this Palm Passion Sunday as never before?
Indeed our world is sick and dying. The soul of this land, our world, cannot continue with the poisons of land, river and sea bringing about very climates of suffering and strife. These poisons spring from bitter wells of greed, human pride and arrogance that fight against the holy waters of life flowing from the Throne of God’s Presence. And as creation’s winds foretell the coming storm so these events foretell the plagues of humanity we now face. For too long faith has been in our economic prowess and gain. The idols of science, void of faith, of humanity centered in self, of reason rooted in senses alone, have deafened the God created call to look to and follow our Creator’s mercy.
So is despair now our creed? Is fear now the hymn of darkened hearts? Is hoarding now the practice of lives living only for self?
Jesus, Our Lord, Savior and Love has not given up His throne. OUR GOD REIGNS! None of these matters have caught God unawares. Nor does He take pleasure in these tribulations. But in the holiest of love our Heavenly Father allows our world, our lives, to be brought to cleansing, healing, to eternal hope.
That first triumphant Palm Sunday as Jesus entered His holy city is a lesson for these times. The people were jubilant as the Christ came through those gates. They were convinced the Messiah had come. The Romans were to be vanquished. Peace and prosperity, healing and joy were come! Little did they realize that in a matter of a few short days their joyful adoration would turn to hateful anger as they called for His crucifixion. The very religious leaders would lead this assault against God, come in the flesh.
Then, as often occurs, the people had allowed their faith, their love for God to be crippled, blinded to all that God would be, would bring. Now, this Palm ~ Passion Sunday of 2020 we are brought, as a world, as never before, to listen for and hear, to seek and see God’s call to follow Christ. As Christians, we are called to realize our worship, the holy sacraments are not the answer. They are but precious holy thresholds, portals to allow us to seek and enter into His Presence that is greater than an altar or an act. We are called to now awaken and open the multitude of these portals we have experienced and prepare for the King who comes! We are called to be and become the livings sacraments of Jesus our Savior and King.
And this call reaches to all souls of good will seeking God in the path they are on. It is time for us to realize we are all called to share, whatever the distance, faith, hope and love that flows from the Heart of God. It is time to help each each other, no matter the color of our skin, the way of our prayers or our loves, to grow strong and healed, holy in hope in these times for our King comes! Our bodies will fail, at some time or place. But we are not our bodies. May our souls, created by and for God be strong in the eternal hope that flows form God’s embrace.