Palm Sunday Reflection
The act of redemptive and healing love becomes our Rosetta stone for the Jesus event. Let us endeavour to refrain from interpreting the narrative through our familiarity. Rather than money, it is control and manipulation that sees “love fly out of the window”.
Love begins and ends with the vulnerability that only the experience of true love can teach us. If we interpret redemption as payback time, we will inevitably act out our own “fish love” as a form of transactionalism that sadly entered our theology as the “Babylon effect”.
Scratch a little below the surface and we find this everywhere, in family relationships, in politics and, yes, even at the heart of religion: power, influence, and budget are at the heart of our actions and decisions. We can recognise this transactionalism in the calculating coldness of the eyes and the lack of resonance with truth and beauty. It is the icy recognition that we have become an opportunity, a dollar sign and a position to be filled.
Jesus’ act of redemptive love that we celebrate this holy season starts with the anointing by Mary Magdalene as an act of love, totally vulnerable and forgetful of self. Resonating with Solomon’s Song of Songs “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine, your anointing oils are fragrant, your name is perfume poured out; … Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If one offered for love all the wealth of one’s house, it would be utterly scorned.”
Transposed against this love, review today the actions of the crowd, singing exultantly, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” When Jesus does not fulfill their demand for transactional gain, they will shout equally as loudly, “Let him be crucified! Let him be crucified!” Here we see how subtle the shift in our hearts can become when we see a person as value to serve us; cold, harsh, and vindictive.
Let the Song of Songs begin our meditation of Jesus’ act of redemptive love. Let the humble and vulnerable act of a woman anointing the feet of Jesus move our proud hearts so that we may see our own secret motives revealed. Let us earnestly seek Truth so that He also may set that seal upon our hearts; this is the seal of love beyond death and life beyond the grave.
Let us replace our wining and dining of the judges, the buyers, and the benefactors, with a true and deeper presence to those who are lonely, those rejected by society, those considered of little or no value in the supply chain, the outsiders and all those considered “the least among us”.
Our human journey together is all too brief and it can only be that in embedding our lives together in the anointed one of God, in the resurrection of the anointed beloved that our lives become that flame that burns beyond death, burns in eternity.