Dying is our Rising.
Sunday of the Passion. Luke 19:28–40 Isaiah 50:4–9a
Psalm 31:9–18 Philippians 2:5–11, Luke 22:14–23.56
To speak in response to the story of the suffering and death of our Lord Jesus Christ seems to be a distraction from the deep meditation in which we find ourselves.
Today the beginning of the most important week in the year, we begin to enter into the paschal mystery. – a dying and a rising, - a tragedy and a triumph.
Today is not palms or passion, it is both. It is not triumph or tragedy, it is not dying or rising. The paschal mystery is triumph in tragedy. And the liturgy this Sunday introduces us to the whole of this mystery.
There is triumph on the cross, and in Christ’s death on the cross there is life. Our baptism was a dying and rising, our whole life is a share in this dying and rising. The core of Christian living is that our dying is our rising. Christ our King is not simply triumphant on Easter day he is triumphant on Calvary and is eternally triumphant.
Our response to this, is what Saint Paul said to the Philippians. Let the same mind be in us that was in Christ Jesus. Though he was God, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, he humbled himself and was obedient to the point of death. He didn’t come to display his majesty as God, but to give his life as a ransom for us. He did not come to be served, but to serve, and in his great love and trust in his Father’s love, his service took him to the cross.
This is the model for our behaviour. Saint Paul reminds us that we need to be willing to put aside our personal “rights” and become loving servants to one another.
If we believe that Christ died for our sins, then we need to live the paradox, to die and to rise to serve others.
Let us pray.
May the power of your love, Lord Christ, fiery and sweet as honey so absorb our hearts as to withdraw them from all that is under heaven. Grant that we may be ready to die for love of your love, as you died for love of our love. Amen.
Saint Francis of Assisi.
The Reverend Canon Camellia Flanagan TSSF