Stay, watch, remain, pray

1932412_10152279350617438_613759620_nWe are almost there, these final days leading to Easter triumph and resurrection. But first we must walk the Via Crucis with Jesus, suffering and dying. How will you walk with Jesus this week?

Perhaps the better question is this, how will we each stay with Jesus this week? The comic to the left is cute and funny enough, but then again, it is not funny at all. How do we fail to stay awake? How do we continually find ways to distract ourselves? How do we avoid what must be done?

As for me, I can name many ways in which I do not watch and pray, far too many to enumerate for you today. Yet, Jesus continues to ask me to stay, to watch, to pray, remain in faithful vigil. So once again, I make my meek attempts.

May your steps this week be blessed with the grace attentiveness to and hope in Christ.

Jerusalem, our destiny

Jerusalem+020We had our Hosannas on Sunday. With our palms we were with Jesus as he made his entry into Jerusalem.

Not exactly the mighty king that many were looking for, he entered the holy city while riding an ass; this was a most undignified way to travel. It must have been a disappointment for many, and a source of derision for those who already loathed this itinerant preacher. Yet there were many, cheering him on with their cries of “Hosanna!”

Dominus Flevit Church, Mount of Olives, Israel, photo credit: F. Rossi Szpylczyn,no unauthorized distribution.

Dominus Flevit Church, Mount of Olives, Israel, photo credit: F. Rossi Szpylczyn,no unauthorized distribution.

Before he went to Jerusalem, Jesus was across the valley on the Mount of Olives. It is said that in the very spot where he looked over and foresaw the destruction of Jerusalem, he wept. This church in the above photo was built on theret. The name of the church is Dominus Flevit; it means, Jesus wept.

Destruction was inevitable, the death of Jesus had to come; he knew this, yet he carried on. The same is true for all of us.

Is death inevitable? Yes. What about new life? New life ready for us in Christ. But we must “fix our eyes” on the city of Jerusalem, with all that it entails.

One of my favorite songs for this time of year is, Jerusalem, My Destiny, by Rory Cooney. I always think that the words that send us off into Holy Week in a most particular way. They are are the words that send us to death. These are the words that send us to new life in the Risen Christ. It is our destiny and our hope – and we do not go alone.

We cannot look away, as the song tells us, we cannot turn away. Holy week is upon us; our destiny is clear, so off we go…