PALM SUNDAY 2011
In one of the Gospel accounts of the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem for the final time, Jesus tells his disciples to go into Jerusalem, secure a room and prepare for the Passover Meal. His instructions are quite specific, as specific as today’s Gospel account of the securing of donkeys for the triumphal entry. I like the other account because it helps us understand the context and content of this very special week, which we are beginning today. Jesus specifies the place, the Upper Room, the occasion or context which is the remembrance of the Passover, and the reason, “celebrate.”
As we begin this Holy Week, the Lord invites us to enter into the context and content of what might arguable be called the most important week in human history – the week he bought with his own suffering and death our ransom from sin and our ticket, as it were, into eternal life. To do this properly and to experience it most deeply, we too must journey to Jerusalem, prepare a place in our hearts to recall these moments of our salvation, and celebrate even the most tragic of deaths, albeit with a great ending.
Jesus calls us to gather here, in our parish, on Thursday night to recall the moment of the twin institutions of Eucharist and Priesthood. He calls us to gather here, in this Cathedral on Good Friday to listen once again to the price he paid to redeem us and how he loved us to death, and to return on Easter to hear the angel’s news that he has risen from the dead, just as he said he would and that by that fact alone, if we live our life according to the commandments we shall reap the benefits of both his death and rising.
To me it is difficult to envision spiritually experiencing the joy of Easter without in some way experiencing the moments which led up to it. If you have time only for Good Friday, come and listen again to the passion account of the Evangelist John, reverence the cross on which hung the salvation of the world, and receive the bread of life which your Church does not wish to be long without. He is begging us to prepare a room for him in our lives this week, to recall, reenact, renew the three most important moments of Christianity. There can be no Easter without Good Friday preceding it.
This Cathedral or your parish Church is the place to which He is sending you to prepare to celebrate the true Passover from death into life, from evil into virtue, from failure into the greatest success in history. Don’t leave here this morning without planning to return, for part or all is the three most important occasions of our life.