This Sunday, known as Palm Sunday and Passion Sunday, the Church gives us an opportunity to live again the events of the triumphant entry of Jesus in Jerusalem and then his passion. Two very contrasting events. In the first one he is acclaimed as the legitimate king of Israel and in the second he is crucified for claiming to be the king of the Jews. In the first, people lay down their garments on the road for him, while in the second they strip him of his clothing. In the first they shout “Hosanna!”, that is: “Save, please!” but in the second they mock him saying “how come you cannot save yourself?”
And yet, there is a common theme in these two events: the identity Jesus is veiled to most people. The Gospel of Mark that we have been reading almost continually since the beginning of the liturgical year, makes a particular emphasis in the silence of Jesus about his own identity and mission. Time and again he asks daemons, those who have benefitted from miracles, and even his own disciples not to say anything about his identity. Definitely a lesson of humility to us all. Jesus being God did not only accept to become human, but he even chose to become an ordinary human.
Quite contrary to our instincts that is to show off and display our skills, our virtues, our knowledge, our good judgment and intuition… Jesus thought that keeping his divine nature hidden was best. Not hidden as when you hide something you are ashamed of, but hidden as when you plant a seed in the soil. As he would say: “The kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the biggest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air can come and shelter in its branches.” Or in another place: “The kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour till it was leavened all through.” He came to make God and his Kingdom present among us, but so humble he was, that he went almost unnoticed. Even while he was hanging on the cross, high up for everyone to see… even then, he was hiding. It was only few who, with the eyes of faith, could see God revealing himself and declaring his everlasting love for us.
But there is more than just a lecture of humility here. It is a sign that points at the place where we can find God. Not necessarily in success, but very often hidden in the small things, in the silence, in the loneliness, in the dark, in the struggles…
The new planedgiving envelopes will be available from this weekend at the back of the Church.
As you are aware the Easter Offerings that you make go to wards the support and income of the clergy.
Easter offering envelopes are available at the back of the Church.
We are truly grateful for your support and kindness on these challenging times.
‘Pope Francis has declared a year dedicated to St Joseph, from 8 December 2020 to 8 December 2021. He says: “Each of us can discover in Joseph - the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence - an intercessor, a support and a guide in times of trouble" (Patris Corde - With a Father's Love - Pope Francis). Let's do that. Let's ask St Joseph to keep a watchful eye on this family of the Church, to intercede on our behalf’. – Cardinal Vincent Nichols