Sunday, 28 March 2010

Holy Week : Palm Sunday

Thought I might try to do a posting each day this week - Holy Week, so I'll see how it goes...
Palm Sunday is long. I was at St B and St P, so it was a three Mass day.  Three blessings of palms, three Passions, four including yesterday evening. Three little homilies (should that be homilettes?) Then we just showed "Romero" in the hall here, which was very well attended. It's a beautiful film, I think, but sort of heavy, and very challenging. Everybody afterwards was asking themselves what they would do in the terrible circumstances that faced Archbishop Romero.
As I've progressed in priesthood it's become more and more of an emotional journey. I suppose that as with lots of important things in life, you grow into priesthood. Yes, it's something that you are given, as it were, at ordination, but the process of assimilating it is a lifelong task. If you are to do it well, you have to let it filter through to every part of your being, including your emotions. Very often the Church has told its members not to trust the dodgy area of our feelings, and I can see why, but that is a different question. Our emotions are a very important part of us human beings, including priests. Over the years I've faced various situations where I've been aware that I can either bluster my professional way through the problem, or I can allow the man and the priest to be one. I would say that almost without exception, those situations are the ones where most good has come of it.
So this business about "it's a vocation not a job" is much deeper than it might appear. I find it increasingly hard to understand  how casually some colleague priests seem to treat their calling. Just today someone was telling me with deep emotion in their voice how their priest very often just doesn't appear for Mass, and some limp excuse follows later. Yes, I know I shouldn't criticise, but the Church is not doing too well in some ways at the moment, and too many of those ways are directly to do with us clergy.
Anyway, let's pray that this Holy Week will inspire all of us. As we witness the total dedication of Jesus, let's ask for some of that for ourselves. And may the Lord who uttered "Father forgive them for they know not what they do", have mercy on us for when we give in to our weaknesses.
I'll see if I can get a video each day this week too. This one I first posted last April or May. Beautiful stuff for Good Friday from the Latin-Byzantine Monastery of Chevetognes in Belgium. Instead of kissing the Cross, they venerate an icon. Relax and enjoy.

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