Readings for Liturgy of the Palms Sixth Sunday in Lent March 16, 2008 Vanderbilt Divinity Library Lectionary

For the Lectionary and other reflections, check out Palm Sunday Lent 6 Textweek

Isaiah 50: 4-9a, Ps 118:1-2,19-29,Phil 2: 5-11, Passion narrative from Matthew 26:17-75, 27:1-56

Palm Sunday is positioned at the end of our Lent journey but also at the beginning of our journey through Holy Week. Today we mark the triumphal entry and we acknowledge or we remember Jesus turning toward Jerusalem. One of the ways that we can remember a journey is to join the dots of the places that we have visited or of the places that we intend to visit. And as we join the dots we get a visual – you can see the scope of the journey. But I wonder if that might be our task for Holy Week and for our encounter with Easter. We heard in the first reading the confidence of Isaiah – ‘ I have set my face like flint’. What we hear is an unshakeable orientation.

Paul in his letter to the Philippians, urges us to adopt the same confidence: ‘Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus’. Today we are called, invited, to set our faces to Jerusalem and to be of one mind with Christ. And as we discovered when we turned towards St Paul’s from Gino’s this morning, as we turn toward something, so too we turn away from, and I think that’s where we experience the degree of difficulty, that’s where we encounter Gethsemane.

To prepare ourselves for the movement - the turning from and the turning toward - we might join the dots of our Lent reflections, join the dots also of our Easter expectations and then with the echo of the Gospel narrative that we’ve just heard, with that still present, join the dots of our lives to find ourselves grounded and realized in the story of life.

We are blessed as a reflection of divine love, the face of the divine. Easter is a calling, a calling to each and every one of us. It’s not a calling to me and it’s not a calling to you, rather it is a calling to each and every one of us, as part of God’s divine whole.

Peter Humphris