A moment of contemplation for yourself or on behalf of others on everything from the life-altering to the mundane.

Prayer: A conversation with The Higher Other who lives within each of us. An invitation to vent, to re-think, to ask, and to rest.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Prayers of the People: The Palms before the Storm ~ Passion Palm Sunday Yr C '19

For Sunday, April 14, 2019, The Sunday of the Passion, Palm Sunday, Yr C, Readings: Luke 19:28-40, Isaiah 50:4-9a, Psalm 31:9-16, 
Philippians 2:5-11, Luke 22:39-23:49-56

PLEASE NOTE: The Google+ platform is no more but to follow the blog you can subscribe by email (anonymously) in the upper right corner of this. Thanks for reading! Feedback is appreciated on the comment link on the blog or at Leeosophy@gmail.com.

             [Jesus said] "Go into the village...and as you enter you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden... [Luke 19:29a]

         Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself...humbled himself... 
[Philippians 2:5-7a,8a]

        Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed [the people] again, but they kept shouting, Crucify, crucify him. A third time he said to them, "Why,  what evil has he done? I have found in him no ground for the sentence of death...But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts that he should be crucified; and their voices prevailed." 
[Luke 23:20-23]

      Then about an hour later still another kept insisting, "Surely this man was also with him...But Peter said, "Man, I do not know what you are talking about!"…At that moment…the cocked crowed…Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord…”Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.” [Luke 22:59-62]

      Palm Sunday and Passion Sunday are at once separate and also one commemoration. The recounting of the procession with palm branches celebrates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The Passion narrative develops the details of his Last Supper, the betrayal by Judas, and the machinations of the Chief Priests whose local standing and power among the Jews and Rome were clearly threatened by this acclaimed and unorthodox prophet and miracle-worker.
       His arrival created quite a stir. To this day in the Palm Sunday processions our hymns and shouts with "Hosanna" ["Hoshana" in Hebrew]praise to God with great elation, are as exuberant as when Jesus was greeted by the throngs that lined the road from Bethany to Jerusalem. They sang and shouted Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord [Ps 118: 26].  Cloaks and branches on the pathway for Jesus were a sign of the highest honor. The palm was the symbol of triumph and victory in the Greco-Roman culture of the times. The donkey or colt was itself a deliberate choice of Jesus sending the disciples to specifically retrieve it. The prophet Zechariah says in the Old/Hebrew Testament: Rejoice greatly, O daughter, Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter, Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey [Zechariah 9:9]Jesus was accused later in the week of proclaiming himself "King of the Jews," yet riding into the city of Jerusalem on a donkey would have been a known and understood symbol that he was coming in peace, as one would do to show a peaceful arrival rather than a warrior King riding in on a grand horse, bent on war.
       All these elements were carefully noticed and recorded by the Roman occupiers and the Sanhedrin, the Jewish Council, who had its own police force and trial court and who set the deadly wheels of what is to come in motion. How easy, it seems, to go from enthusiastic cheers of the crowd to the politically manipulated yet equally enthusiastic and malevolent jeers by the same people mere days later. 
        The tone is set for this new journey through Holy Week in our own times of political machinations, violence, crowd wrangling, and manipulation. It is time for me to acknowledge to my innermost self the moments of my own betrayal of Jesus through denial in thought, word, action, or plain inaction. Turning away from the unpleasant, the insincere, and especially the dangerous is safer and less stressful in the short run, but, going with the flow by participation or neglect reaps far more tyranny and destruction than standing up to oppression. 
        Dr. Martin Luther King said it best, "A time comes when silence is betrayal." That time came for Peter, that time is now for us. We, together, are the voice and power of Christ’s love in times of Palms and in the ensuing Storms. Let us always sing HOSANNA in the name of Jesus, our Redeemer Lord.


Leader:  ~ O Jesus, our Lord, arouse us out of a mere re-reading to know now the sudden joy of Your arrival in our midst, and to feel the shudder in a few short days as beguiled minds turn to riotous, politically-manipulated, and deadly betrayal. Inspire us in this day, and every day, to experience the breadth, the depth, and the power of Your love, and to never deny You within ourselves or to another.

                                                        Jesus, our Christ             
RESPONSE:                   We commend ourselves to You

~ O Jesus, our Lord, we turn to You for the courage to require that all who hold or seek office in the governments of this Earth, this Country, and this Community be exemplars of principled justice, mercy, and peace. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       Jesus, our Christ
                                                       We commend ourselves to You

~ O Jesus, our Lord, in Your loving-kindness make Your face to shine upon those who suffer through chronic pain, distress in spirit or in life, and refresh all who give them care. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need…add your own petitions

                                                       Jesus, our Christ
                                                       We commend ourselves to You

~ O Jesus, our Lord, fill the hearts of all who mourn with the comfort of the joyful and jubilant welcome those we love have received in their new and eternal life. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       Jesus, our Christ
                                                       We commend ourselves to You

~  O Jesus, our Lord, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt thanksgivings, intercessions, petitions, and memorials, aloud or silently… add your own petitions

                                                       Jesus, our Christ
                                                       We commend ourselves to You
~ O Jesus, our Lord, may each of those who lead us in Your Church be granted the tongue of a teacher and the humility of Your human likeness, as they guide us all to stand up together with faith and trust in You. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       Jesus, our Christ
                                                       We commend ourselves to You
The Celebrant adds: Lord God in Christ, agitate our spirits and provoke our desire to seek Your mind in all that we do. Urge us to empty ourselves of all that draws us away that we may find our true and everlasting life in You. We ask this of You, our Hope and our Redeemer; and the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier of our Souls; who together with the Almighty Creator is One God, now and forever. Amen.

All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way. For more information or comments, contact: Leeosophy@gmail.com

No comments:

Post a Comment