Today is Palm Sunday – This is Holy Week!

A brief reflection by Archbishop George Stack 

Today is Palm Sunday and marks the beginning of Holy Week 2018. The Blessing and distribution of Palms followed by the procession are dramatic re-enactments of the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and the events surrounding his Passion and Death. Our liturgy is not just a remembrance of past events. We enter into those events and reflect on the significance for our own lives and our own time. During our Lenten journey of forty days we have tried to follow Jesus into the desert as we are tested and tempted to name and reject those things which encourage us to ignore the things of God.

In his poem for Palm Sunday, Malcolm Guite uses the outer story of Palm Sunday to pose some questions for our inner life. What would it really mean to welcome Jesus as King into the Zion of my own heart? How is the city already occupied and governed? Who is in charge now and how is power divided? Is there an  uneasy compromise in my own inner Jerusalem, such as there was in the outer Jerusalem  of Jesus’ time?

Now to the  gate of my Jerusalem,

The seething holy city of my heart,

The Saviour comes. But will I welcome him?

Oh crowds of easy feelings make a start;

They raise their hands,get caught up in the singing,

And think the battle won. Too soon they’ll find

The challenge, the reversal he is bringing

Changes their tune. I know what lies behind

The surface flourish that so quickly fades;

Self interest,and fearful guardedness,

The hardness of the heart,its barricades,

And at the core, the dreadful emptiness

Of a perverted temple. Jesus, come

Break my resistance and make me your home.

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