The Rebellion Begins
“It is ourselves that we must spread under Christ’s feet, not coats or lifeless branches or shoots of trees, matter which wastes away and delights the eye only for a few brief hours...let us spread ourselves like coats under his feet ... let us offer not palm branches but the prizes of victory to the conqueror of death…wave the spiritual branches of the soul” (St. Andrew of Crete).
Give up your life to worship. Give up your time to pray. Give up your ambitions to follow. Give up everything the world has taught you to value, for the sake of serving our Lord Jesus Christ. Today we declare war against the world and its web of lies and fantasies, plunging into death, and rising up into life.
Holy Week begins with a dramatic exit. Banging our cross against the gates of the church, we declare: “Enough!” “We are done with the world.” “We are leaving.” Our procession into the sanctuary marks a violent renunciation. “No more.”
Not everyone waved palm branches and shouted “Hosanna!” There was the Sanhedrin, the politicians, and the schemers, waiting to twist this to their own gain, or stomp it out quickly. Still, there were others indifferent and oblivious. They did not notice the procession. Their heads were hung down — eyes fixed on their iPhones. Their ears were plugged up — hearts stuffed with entertainment. Others were too busy building careers or managing the bills. Every once in a while they looked up, “What’s all this noise?” “Who are these radicals?” Then they ducked their heads back down and forgot. It’s all the same in the world. The construction, the inventions, the cheaters and do-gooders, all one tangled web of illusion going no where.
Who are these gathered around Christ? These are the rebels. The procession they began that first Palm Sunday incited a rebellion never put out. We process today to join that rebellion.
“Sic Semper Tyrannis.” “Thus Always to Tyranny.”
Holy Week has begun. The journey we started this morning leads us into a valley. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, then Maundy Thursday arrives to strip the altar of our souls. On Good Friday, we are starved and crucified. Holy Saturday is quiet, the purging of hell in the bowels of the earth. Then everything explodes in light and beauty when the tomb is broken open. We are killed, and we are raised from the dead.
Have a Blessed Holy Week.