March 16, 2008

Passion Sunday

My first Palm Sunday as a priest, though I was awed and grateful, was one of those moments when part of me missed being a layperson.

Here's why: In the Passion proclamation, I always enjoyed the part of the crowd, usually taken by the assembly. To put into my own words the condemnations and mocking of Jesus by the crowd always struck me hard as a reflection on my own sins and the inadequacy of my own ideas and images of God.

This year, if Matthew's Passion is read the way the Roman rite suggests, the crowd gets to say, "let him be crucified!" and " yourself, if you are the Son of God, and come down from the cross!" Those are humbling words to say for a Christian, especially when we know that there are unevangelized and unconverted parts of our lives that really mean what we say.

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