A Reflection by Carol Younger
The opening salvo of Passion Week is the call to Rejoice! In the midst of all the turmoil of whatever Church crises, whatever national scandal, or whatever mad conversations in the culture, and whatever personal daily disasters disturb, we are called on this Day, Palm Sunday, to Rejoice! Our King is come to us. And our King brings peace.
Yes, Peace! Kelly writes in Moment to Ponder this is The Gift – Receptivity – especially to His Peace – if we only abandon ourselves to Love, as Christ did from the moment of His entrance to Jerusalem through His Passion at the end of Holy Week. Are we ready to abandon ourselves to the love of our Father’s will for us?
Only a page later, Sarah is telling us that this abandonment to love led Jesus to his death and the scary thought: Abandonment to love may mean we will suffer. A couple pages later, Stephanie presents to us the character Anah: Not only are the streets of Jerusalem empty where she is, but Anah is empty as well. She would love to receive a child’s life in her empty womb, but her life seems purposeless without that one event. Will she use her womanly receptivity to learn of the love of the King of Peace from her mother? Then, as if to emphasize love, Pat unwraps Receptivity underscoring its spiritual and emotional facets in relationship: openness, respect, tenderness, and here we are back again to… Love.
Central in Lisa’s reflection is the conversion of heart needed to welcome Jesus, to take and eat the Real Presence of Jesus, to hold him King within our very bodies and hearts. Lisa unites “majesty” and “passion” in the same sentence about Palm Sunday liturgy: she says they “never grow old in my heart.” And so they are united: Majesty and Passion.
This First Chapter is like putting on first-century sandals. I rush through the streets of Jerusalem, hearing the joyous shouts of the crowds welcoming a King they think will free them of the everyday and lifelong trials they are enduring. Still, as a woman, I’m focused on getting to the Beautiful Gate of Jerusalem. I know that I’ll see His Mother there, and she knows what I know as a woman: Love flows most abundantly into our receptive souls from suffering, from His Blood on the Cross. I want to read this Passion Week with her eyes. I want to receive Him, as she did: with total abandonment to Love.
Dr. Carol Younger – A Senior Fellow for the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, Advisory Board Member for the Great Adventure Bible Studies, author of Listening and Study Guides for biblical and theological presentations through St. Joseph Communications, author of the Retreat Companion for 33 Days to Morning Glory through Marian Press. An accomplished leader in public and private education and a popular adjunct professor at an evangelical Christian university in Southern California. Active in many parish ministries, including RCIA and Catechetical training.