Daily Archives: March 25, 2018

Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion – Cycle B

25 March 2018

Reflecting on Mark 14: 1-15:47

What did Jesus know, and when did he know it? That question can haunt us as we hear the Passion read, and as we meditate throughout this Holy Week. Did he always know that he would die?

He must have known by the time of the transfiguration at Tabor. When Moses and Elijah appeared in the cloud, they spoke with him. He must have known then that his life was coming to an end.

I’m sure he must have known by the night of the Last Supper. Judas must have been behaving oddly. Even some people in Jerusalem could have been whispering, loud enough for him to hear, that someone had betrayed him. When Jesus told the Twelve that the hour of his death was upon him, their behavior must have confirmed what his heart already knew.

The arrest followed, and the night spent in Caiaphas’ dungeon.  There was the sentence of death, the terrible scourging, and, finally, the cross. Mark records that his last were, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” This is the very worst part. Nothing is as terrible as our Jesus crying out in despair, asking why God has abandoned him.

And then it is complete. The ultimate passion―to have his Father’s face turned from him—is finally finished. If he had had the comfort and intimacy of the Father with him on the cross, it would not have been the cross.

There may be a time this year that in your greatest hour of darkness you cannot find Jesus. Remember, then, that Jesus knows what that loneliness is. You have been given a share in his cross.

So, likewise, in his resurrection.

What parts of the Passion resonate with an experience in your own life?

Kathy McGovern©2018

Kathy McGovern © 2014-2015

Fifth Sunday of Lent – Cycle B

25 March 2018

Reflecting on John 12: 20-33

Everybody clings to stuff. We cling to our mothers on the first day of kindergarten. We mark off our sacred chair, or crayon box, or the line of demarcation in our shared bedrooms. This is mine. You’re not allowed to touch this, or borrow that, or go beyond this point.

Winter makes its mark on us. We pull our coats tighter, and tie our scarves close to our necks. The wind howls, the bare trees stand as silent witness to death. The earth, cold as iron, closes up and offers no hint of the miracle going on just underneath.

The grain of wheat tries to cling too. Hidden in darkness and cold, it tries to hold on to its color and shape. The baby, safe and warm, clings to the womb. But oh, what wondrous life the Master Designer has encoded in us. The grain breaks open—painful death! The baby pushes out of the womb―terrifying! And then comes the Great Reveal: we were never meant to stay a grain of wheat, or a child in the womb.

Staying where we are just doesn’t fit the pattern that God set up in order for us to thrive. That grain of wheat won’t feed the world if it’s allowed to cling. If seeds don’t die, then birds and insects and animals and humans can’t live. If a baby remains in the womb, mother and child will die. The DNA God imprinted in us requires that we not hold on forever. God has greater plans.

We cling to this life because it’s all we know. And yet, season after season, God tells a different story. Keep your spring clothes handy. Resurrection is afoot.

What things in me have to die in order for me to live more fully?

Kathy McGovern ©2018

Kathy McGovern © 2014-2015