Posts Tagged ‘Holy Week’

Scattered. Unsure. Confused. Scared. Not knowing what comes next. Nothing written in stone as to how to act out in the darkness awaiting.

Vigil Saturday is a hard concept for the modern Christianities.


We already want to move beyond Good Friday and jump right into Easter Sunday and the resurrection. How can we understand the waiting? We speak of the journey, but we hold in our hearts the outcome so it is a false journey.

It is much like the concept of a prequel. How can the viewer/reader truly enter the story, knowing the next step? Take the Star Trek spin-off Enterprise. This was its living conundrum for the writers. How do you present the early days of the Federation when everyone already knows things as laid out by Kirk, Picard, Sisko and Janeway?

Yet it was also the sequel to Star Trek 8: First Contact. For those who have not seen, this movie was a sequel to the Star Trek: The Next Generation cliff hangar, Best of Both Worlds. Where the Borg are tired of attempting to assimilate earth in the 24th century, they travel back in time to before First Contact. That is before Zephram Cochrane took the first warp flight into space and the Vulcans contacted humanity…which spawned the Star Trek Universe.

Enterprise begins after this. As humanity works with the Vulcans who appear to be holding them back. A Klingon turns up in a farmer’s field and needs to be taken home. Captain Archer (and his beagle), Sub-Commander T’Pal, Trip, Yoshi, Reed to name but a few of the characters take the NX-01 Enterprise (this is even before the Federation) into space on a mission of mercy. Once out there, this short lived 4 season series enters the awe of space exploration.

A series where the writers were in tension of what was known, what could be used, what needed to be held off on, how to use time travel, and how to use the idea of lost logs to cover continuity gaps for they needed the familiar, yet the challenge of it being new and would this survive. How do you get from a ship of humans with two other species (a Vulcan, and a Denobulan Doctor (Chief Medical Officer)—never mind the challenge to the idea of human based binary marriage Dr. Phlox’s people brought). Also, what happens with a crew of experts that begin to let themselves be more than simply individuals? As interdependence grows? As community blossoms? As their sense of belonging breaks beyond their own attested to or implied labels to something beyond themselves.

As Captain Archer in one of the early episodes phrased it, and summed up where the series was at in Trek Lore:

One day there may be a prime directive of some kind to follow, but for now all we have is our own compass on what is right.

For the modern Christianities this is what makes Vigil Saturday so hard, much like the Trekkie’s mind during Enterprise. We want to skip to the end of the story. We want to cling to our institutions, our doctrines our creeds and our completed and shiny Bibles…so we cannot understand the fleeing, the hiding…the venturing forth, the open questioning and challenging.

When in the midst of the chaos…there was no hard and fast what was to happen, there was a question on how to belong, and how to act towards each other: Who is my neighbour? But had it truly sunk in as the darkness descended and the awaiting began.  Was it there, when the women took the first steps out in the darkness bravely towards the rising son.

Or as a ship launched on a mission to return a lost soul not knowing what awaited beyond the sun…

Vigil Saturday is about letting go of what we know, and where we are comfortable.

It is sitting in the dark.

Not knowing what will be there if or when the sun rises.

Or our next First Contact?

Or knowing the form our neighbour will take…

Can you wait… and be present?


Pope Francis met with Prime Minister Trudeau and said he would consider a papal apology for the horrors of residential schools. This week (Holy Week, the week of the voiceless claiming their voice, and worth in their intrinsic personhood) his considerations ended.

The answer? NO! (some nicer words were used about not being able to issue a personal apology for the Vatican, but we know this is trite and the essence of a cover you butt memo).

Why I (a close but never true Catholic) and many other Canadian Catholics are not buying it? Because it is not about what is right. It is not about what the Jesuit who chose my patron’s name as his, Francis of Assisi would call to be right in the gospel teaching of Love your Neighbour.

Down to brass tacks, it is not what Brother Jesus taught in accountability, love, hope, faith, peace and the very Catholic Sacrament of Reconciliation which the world is trying to move into a phase of. A Truth and Reconciliation process to move forward together as the one family we are in humanity.

Yet these old institutions, like the Sanhedrin and Empire keep attempting to assert their control. The Vatican knows that the Indigenous people of the world, and of Canada would not have the monies to outlast a civil law suit against the Vaticans coffers without “proof”. Now there is proof, I would challenge the Indigenous of the world (and yes this includes groups not normally thought of, like the Irish) who suffered in Catholic or church run schools or institutions to take them to the International Criminal Court on Human Rights grounds. More to the point, continue the local civil court pressure of suing the parishes and dioceses, they cease to exist because they are not willing to move into a healthier space then so be it.

But that is the rub.

The Vatican, via the Pope, with this momentous NO, is doing nothing more than covering its assets. They have seen what has happened to churches not structured like the pyramid scheme the Roman Catholic Church is. They legally know that if the Pope says “Sorry” then the throne and all the riches are culpable and able to be named in each civil action.

The Pope is covering the Religious Controllers, the remnants of the Empire that began inter-generational trauma; politically and financially-nothing more. In the midst of Holy Week. The week that started with the celebration of personhood for those that were told they did not matter. The journey that took us to the meal shared; the institution of the Sacrament of Service; the culmination of radical love; the betrayal with a kiss…to today…after all the laws were broken of the religious controllers that made them “Holy” in their own eyes…to protect the institution… and the beaten and bloodied poor were hung upon a cross…and at the hour…life left him…and Brother Jesus was lowered into a tomb.

The Pope did not use 30 pieces of silver to betray that which his papacy has been teaching. He used an English idiom. “Consider”.

The Pope in one action held the status quo, and showed the Christianities are still based on that which Jesus rallied against.  The neighbour does not matter if there is money and power at play.

This is the Good Friday reflection that came from contemplating these words of today from the Community that brought us the mystic and communal Gospel of John, what resonates in your heart of an injustice done to maintain silence and the illusion of holiness:

John 18:1-19:42:
18:1 After Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered.

18:2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples.

18:3 So Judas brought a detachment of soldiers together with police from the chief priests and the Pharisees, and they came there with lanterns and torches and weapons.

18:4 Then Jesus, knowing all that was to happen to him, came forward and asked them, “Whom are you looking for?”

18:5 They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus replied, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.

18:6 When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they stepped back and fell to the ground.

18:7 Again he asked them, “Whom are you looking for?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

18:8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.”

18:9 This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken, “I did not lose a single one of those whom you gave me.”

18:10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus.

18:11 Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

18:12 So the soldiers, their officer, and the Jewish police arrested Jesus and bound him.

18:13 First they took him to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year.

18:14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was better to have one person die for the people.

18:15 Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest,

18:16 but Peter was standing outside at the gate. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the woman who guarded the gate, and brought Peter in.

18:17 The woman said to Peter, “You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.”

18:18 Now the slaves and the police had made a charcoal fire because it was cold, and they were standing around it and warming themselves. Peter also was standing with them and warming himself.

18:19 Then the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching.

18:20 Jesus answered, “I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret.

18:21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said to them; they know what I said.”

18:22 When he had said this, one of the police standing nearby struck Jesus on the face, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?”

18:23 Jesus answered, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?”

18:24 Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

18:25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him, “You are not also one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.”

18:26 One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?”

18:27 Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed.

18:28 Then they took Jesus from Caiaphas to Pilate’s headquarters. It was early in the morning. They themselves did not enter the headquarters, so as to avoid ritual defilement and to be able to eat the Passover.

18:29 So Pilate went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?”

18:30 They answered, “If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.”

18:31 Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him according to your law.” The Jews replied, “We are not permitted to put anyone to death.”

18:32 (This was to fulfill what Jesus had said when he indicated the kind of death he was to die.)

18:33 Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”

18:34 Jesus answered, “Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?”

18:35 Pilate replied, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?”

18:36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.”

18:37 Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”

18:38 Pilate asked him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, “I find no case against him.

18:39 But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover. Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?”

18:40 They shouted in reply, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a bandit.

19:1 Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged.

19:2 And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they dressed him in a purple robe.

19:3 They kept coming up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and striking him on the face.

19:4 Pilate went out again and said to them, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no case against him.”

19:5 So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”

19:6 When the chief priests and the police saw him, they shouted, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him; I find no case against him.”

19:7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has claimed to be the Son of God.”

19:8 Now when Pilate heard this, he was more afraid than ever.

19:9 He entered his headquarters again and asked Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer.

19:10 Pilate therefore said to him, “Do you refuse to speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?”

19:11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”

19:12 From then on Pilate tried to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are no friend of the emperor. Everyone who claims to be a king sets himself against the emperor.”

19:13 When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside and sat on the judge’s bench at a place called The Stone Pavement, or in Hebrew Gabbatha.

19:14 Now it was the day of Preparation for the Passover; and it was about noon. He said to the Jews, “Here is your King!”

19:15 They cried out, “Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!” Pilate asked them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but the emperor.”

19:16 Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus;

19:17 and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha.

19:18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them.

19:19 Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”

19:20 Many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek.

19:21 Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.'”

19:22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”

19:23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. 19:24

So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it.” This was to fulfill what the scripture says, “They divided my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.”

19:25 And that is what the soldiers did. Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

19:26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.”

19:27 Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

19:28 After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), “I am thirsty.”

19:29 A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth.

19:30 When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

19:31 Since it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the cross during the sabbath, especially because that sabbath was a day of great solemnity. So they asked Pilate to have the legs of the crucified men broken and the bodies removed.

19:32 Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who had been crucified with him.

19:33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.

19:34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out.

19:35 (He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth.)

19:36 These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled, “None of his bones shall be broken.”

19:37 And again another passage of scripture says, “They will look on the one whom they have pierced.”

19:38 After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body.

19:39 Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds.

19:40 They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews.

19:41 Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid.

19:42 And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

A Judas Goat is a spy-mystery reference for someone who infiltrates the movement to bring it down, or a member of a movement turned. Judas obviously from the story of Judas Iscariot in the Christian Testament. Goat can be of two veins. One being scape goat, that in which communities would place their sins upon for sacrifice to make right, or goat the old English colloquialism of one that acts out for praise and attention. But it is a term that transcends many tales for one used in their own mind to do what is right, or to correct for the one’s in power and control.

14 Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 15 and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

-Matthew 26:14-16(New International Version)

Judas is a name that moved from heroic connotations within the context of the stories of the Maccabees and the messiah being waited on…to one of betrayer with the Gospel proclamation of what has become known as Holy Week. Literature wise it was a character that allowed to show the false messiah ship of the warrior king, that in the end would prove the destruction of the religious controllers’ due to the use of force and power. Over the centuries there has been debate about Judas Iscariot. Why did he do it? Was it a power grab? Was it for the money? Was it for jealousy? Or did Judas truly believe, as recent theologians will postulate that by doing this he was advancing the Kingdom?

Take time in contemplative journaling-whether it is in colour, art, writing or all three on the story through the eyes of Judas.  What comes through for you as the truth of the journey?

For the deal is struck. The Upper Room is prepared… and what we term Maundy Thursday is about ready to begin:

Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come
to pass from this world to the Father.
He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.
The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over.
So, during supper,
fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power
and that he had come from God and was returning to God,
he rose from supper and took off his outer garments.
He took a towel and tied it around his waist.
Then he poured water into a basin
and began to wash the disciples’ feet
and dry them with the towel around his waist.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him,
“Master, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“What I am doing, you do not understand now,
but you will understand later.”
Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered him,
“Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.”
Simon Peter said to him,
“Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.”
Jesus said to him,
“Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed,
for he is clean all over;
so you are clean, but not all.”
For he knew who would betray him;
for this reason, he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

So when he had washed their feet
and put his garments back on and reclined at table again,
he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you?
You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am.
If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet,
you ought to wash one another’s feet.
I have given you a model to follow,
so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”

-John 13:1-15

The Supper with friends is seen as the institution of communion, some will say because it is only in the newest Canonical Gospel, John, that the idea of foot washing is introduced. Yet this Gospel is a proclamation of community mystic life. It zeroes in on the Sacrament of Service (remember that whole Love your neighbour as yourself and your God thing?). As Brother Jesus lowers himself to the simplest of acts after a long day for his followers.

It is why foot washing is often still used, many churches have abandoned the practice…yet they miss something in the story by doing this. There is nothing more humbling to truly understand the walk the talk actions.

Yet in this moment, Jesus knew something was off.

Continue your journal as Judas…what is rolling in your heart in this moment of humility??

How has this radical love moment challenged your previous life actions?

What calling has been laid out for you in this moment?

Will you answer the call?

There is at least 2 times in the Canonical (those that post-Constantine church elders chose to be in the Christian Testament) Gospels where Jesus is shown throwing tables and “cleansing” the den of thieves from his Dad’s house. One is early in his earthly ministry, the other is during what we term Holy Week liturgically. Or rather after he arrives in Jerusalem and challenged Empire authority and Religious Controllers with his own festival.

In the Temple we try to reconcile our sanitized-westernized-personal salvation-prosperity gospel Jesus with what happens next. Is this our Buddy? Is this our brother?

In seminary and bible college I learned the other way of seeing the act. The changing of money was so no graven image entered the Temple, it was necessary. The sacrificial animals had to be without blemish so they had to be sold. As bringing a sacrifice on a journey could create blemish by travel. Essentially that these processes were necessary, and it wasn’t the process Jesus was mad at, it was the turning of profit. Yet I believe it is more than that.

Just look at Cain and Abel, Cain’s sacrifice wasn’t pure that is why YHWH rejected. Totally missing the point it was the heart behind the sacrifice, not the sacrifice that mattered to YHWH. In today’s terms imaging only being able to partake in communion or the pot luck or baptism if your Toonie/Loonie/Fin note were crisp and new without blemish? Or you had to purchase your pew (yes historic cause of Free church movement I am looking at you).  Sound ridiculous?

What these practices were/are barriers to belonging in the community. They stop accessibility and inclusion from those that were seen as “less than” and not fit to “be apart of”. This is the system that Brother Jesus walked in on, and if I may be blunt, lost his shit about. The cleansing was about shattering the power barriers of control that kept the blessed Children (read the beatitudes in Matthew 5) from belonging.

In the act of the scourging. In the act of flipping tables. Jesus was showing us that we had to shatter our pre-conceived notions. We had to get our hearts right for our neighbour. That the radical love being called for was not about perfection. It was messy, it was shattering what was seen as “holy” for what truly was. Being present with one another:


We may not have money changers today or sacrifice sellers in our temples, but what tables need to be tossed out? Literally shattering the barrier of belonging. So join me in flipping some tables and freeing folks from chains imposed by Religious Controllers.

Let us shatter these lies across the board:

  1.             The lie that LGBTTQ2+ do not belong or are sinners.
  2.             That Polyamory or common-law relationships between consenting adults are sin.
  3.             Persons with Disabilities need to be healed for they are not complete.
  4.             You are born depraved and evil in Original Sin.
  5.             Women are less than.
  6.             Children should be seen and not heard.
  7.             Elders cannot learn new things.
  8.             Different cultures/races/religions are to be feared.
  9.             A healthy sexual life is only about procreation.
  10. Reproductive Rights are only about abortion (complete body autonomy is a progressive lie told to you).
  11. Mental illness is due to weakness or lack of faith.
  12. If wealthy donors do something to harm the community it is okay, because we cannot afford to lose their money.
  13. That the building erected for worship is where God resides.
  14. Life is about the amount of wealth you can get, the things you can accumulate for this shows how much God loves you. If you are suffering it is because you have no faith.
  15. Addicts, the poor, the sex trafficked, the abused all brought it upon themselves.
  16. Dying with Dignity is an affront to God.

These are only some of the tables I believe Jesus would toss and shatter upon entering our temples today. He would scourge out the Neo-Nazis from Christianity (feel free to insert whatever euphemism you prefer for their bile hatred) as he and his cousin, John the Baptist called out the Sanhedrin. They would stand firmly with #timesup, #metoo, #Marchforourlives, and the bubble zones of safety around pro-choice clinics as those hurting or in need seek out solutions. They would stand with those that speak for full belonging for persons with disabilities; the spectrum of sexual identity; for the New Canadians (Immigrant or refugee), for the seniors and the young trying to afford medications (Universal Pharmacare and Medicare would be no brainers for them). There would be righteous anger at those that imposed values tests for those seeking welfare or entitlements designed as a safety net…for those needs tests come from the Upper socio-economic classes.

These are ancient stories, but the journey through is not ancient. It is now. The calling is to vocational radical love and transformation of self and community.

For radical belonging.

As each of us responds to the answer of the question:

Who is my neighbour?

Tossing tables and cleansing the temple, what calls to belonging resonate within you:

15 And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; 16 And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.

17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves. 18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine. 19 And when even was come, he went out of the city.

-Mark 11:15-19 (also found in Matthew 21:22-17, Luke 19:45-48 and John 2:13-22)

Each of the Canonical Gospels, and many of the Pseudopigrapha, contain the kick off to Holy Week as the “Triumphal Entry”, on the liturgical calendar it is Palm Sunday (yes with the advent of Passion Sunday we are loosing an important piece of our spiritual lives).  So what is this celebration of Palms?

It is the recognizing of the poor/disenfranchised celebrating the coming of the Christ to Jerusalem at the holiest time of year. The time of year when the Empire was the most concerned about an uprising (70 active rebellion “Messiahs” in one place with rebels would make one a bit jumpy).  So on the other side of the town, the religious and political leaders, merchants and upper classes were celebrating another entry–the legions of Caesar coming into the city ready to put down any trouble by razing the city, and ensuring those in power would maintain power, inspite of their professed belief in God.

So what is there to rethink, fairly straight forward? Yes and no. For we can internalize this story, like in Eastern philosophy there is yin-yang; or Karmaic Balance, so to do we see the mystery balance within this story of Jesus‘ life. A teaching of the interior thought as we draw close to the Holy Mystery (Jerusalem at Passover). There are two entries (entities) within us: Worldly Oppressor (Caesor/Pilate/Herrod/Sanhedrin) or Spiritual Freedom (Jesus and the Palms).  This is our true eternal choice, which entry are we going to welcome into our Jerusalem within and allow to guide us? The ravaging destruction of the Holy through the Merchant’s entry or the thriving growth of transformed life and community (salvation) through the Palms?

“That’s why we don’t bring children to church

 No not my words, these harsh words were spoken to a priest at a Good Friday service due to the “behaviour” of my little one, and the priest took it upon himself to apologize for the child crying and disrupting “their worship experience”.

The funnily ironic part?

My boy was crying because he kept saying each time “why Jesus die” He pounded his nail into the cross with gusto because he was resonating with the moment.

When we went to leave he started crying louder, no daddy no, Jesus not back yet.

Sadly all that was heard by most who were giving me dirty looks, tsking, was a child who was having a melt down, and a child that should not be in church.  Yet when we take vows of baptism for our children we promise to raise them in the faith.  We bring my boy to church, my boy who has endured more than anyone his age should, his sister who dances in the isle and states to any who will listen that Jesus is her prince charming.

What is missed in the scowls, the tsking, the dirty looks and the that child should not be here…is simply that it is in the children that the Holy resonates, through his screams and tears on Friday, he was showing true sorrow that his friend (yes as Jesus said to us in the Gospel) had died, and he wasn’t sure what happens with the story. My little boy, decided to live his faith in the moment of Holy Week, experiencing each and every day as if it was the first time, and knew that Jesus’ friends at that time were sad, and so he should be sad too.

“Daddy why did Jesus die?”

So to those who believe a child who emotes should not be in church, for clergy that believe they need to apologize, I simply ask that question my son asked, why did Jesus die? 

If not to unite us in love as a family. Happy Easter.