From the Ex-Pastor's Desk.
I am reminded of a story of a Bishop travelling on a Belfast
train who was joined by a soldier who had been celebrating a
little too well. The Bishop, in normal clerical attire, had
none of the trappings that would indicate that he was a bishop.
The soldier, in the mood for a chat, said to him "I suppose,
Father, you are a Parish Priest"? "I used to be",
replied the bishop. His new-found friend continued, "Isn't
the drink terrible, Father. I used to be a Sergeant too one
Leaving that aside, today we begin an extraordinary week. From
the joy of the joyful entry of Jesus into Jerusalem as we begin,
we end up with the ignominy of the arrest, trial, scourging,
the mock crowning with thorns, crucifixion and death of the
Author of all life at the hands of those He had come to save.
As a community we enter into not only the Passion of Jesus,
but our own story of suffering, sorrow, agony and even death
- so that we too might experience resurrection.
Suffering is an evil, a mystery, but in entering into it with
Jesus and joining ours to his we know that we are in good company.
When Jesus shares his cross of suffering with us He is there
at the other end of the transverse beam of that cross, carrying
it with us. After all whom did Jesus choose to share those awful
moments of his Passion with? Was it not his own Mother! Simeon
had foretold that one day a sword of sorrow would pierce her
heart. Her title 'Mother of Sorrows' is for real!
Where can you find a life without its share of sorrow? This
week does not explain or solve it, but it does give us an understanding
of how we can cope. Not on our own certainly, but the events
of this Holy Week do give us an insight that helps us to cope.
The week ends with the glory of the Resurrection Morning. With
Christ we too can conquer death. Christ came to conquer it.
St. Augustine summed it all up when he said; "You have
made us for Yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until
they rest in Thee."