In Anticipation of Palm Sunday Meditation and Prayer

The crowds joyfully wave palms and lovingly welcome Jesus to Jerusalem in triumph.

In the days to come the tide will turn and these same crowds will want Him dead. 

"To be connected with the church is to be associated with scoundrels, warmongers, fakes, child-molesters, murderers, adulterers and hypocrites of every description. 

It also, at the same time, identifies you with saints and the finest persons of heroic soul of every time, country, race, and gender. 

To be a member of the church is to carry the mantle of both the worst sin and the finest heroism of soul because the church always looks exactly as it looked at the original crucifixion, God hung among thieves".  – Ronald Rolheiser, The Holy Longing

Lord of the swaying palms,
the stones of earth and the beasts of burden bear witness to your coming:
lead us from the violence of empires and the collusion of crowds
to a heart of flesh, a world remade, and a new song for all creation,
through Jesus Christ, the Crucified One.  Amen.

Images by James Tissot


Please give us the grace, loving God, to pray with our hearts as well as our lips, and to serve with our deeds as well as our prayers.

In places where the church celebrates with joy today, where it laughs with little children and praises with elderly saints, till hosannas overflow from every loving heart; may your kingdom come, And your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

In places where the church gathers in sorrow or fear today, weeping with Christ Jesus for the cross that must be carried in the face of misunderstanding and abuse; may your kingdom come.

Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

In places where ordinary people are disillusioned with that greed and injustice that wants the poor and the weak blamed for the deprivations that afflict them; your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

In places where people are at their wits end, angry or frustrated or frightened, ready to hit out violently at those around them, or falling into despair and planning to take their own lives; Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

In places where there are small hopes begging to be kept alive, programmes of compassion needing to be supported, and the beginnings of faith requiring recognition and encouragement; your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

God of Christ Jesus and our God, enable each of us to enter into fellowship with the Spirit of Christ, that our personal happiness and suffering may not be wasted, but dedicated to your infinite purposes which are often baffling but always loving. In Your name we pray. Amen!

In sunshine and shadow, in joy or grief, this is the day which the Lord has made.

We will rejoice and be glad in it. We will step gratefully into this holy week;

We will tread softly for many things are already bruised;

We will go reverently for holiness is found in unlikely places;

We will walk lovingly for the love of the Crucified One is the key to all things on earth and in heaven. Amen!

Text only is adapted from: Steven Shakespeare, Prayers for an Inclusive Church (Church Publishing, 2009), 91; Iona Community, Stages on the Way (GIA, 2000), 88; Bruce Prewer, Uniting Church of Australia.


Fran said...

I can't say anything, but I am weeping. Thank you for this. Blessings to you, blessings.

Philomena Ewing said...

Hi Fran,
Thanks for this.I hope you are going to have a wonderful Holy Week. It is good to know that we will share the journey.

claire said...

Beautiful post, Phil. Thank you for the prayers. Perfect really to accompany us during this coming week.

I read The Holy Longing and really liked it. I have not followed Ronald Rolheiser in quite a while though.

Hoping your community recovers from the death of your friends.

Love and blessings.

Fran said...

I have used that Rolheiser quote everywhere, including my blog, where I link back to you.

It has become a life raft for almost everyone who is suffering from the scandals of the Church this week.

God bless you as we all hang onto it so that we might keep afloat.

Philomena Ewing said...

To Claire: For me Ron Rolheiser is one of the best priests to read on so many matters that need discussing and I find myself always searching for his articles first when I need inpsiration and/or explanation. He has a website and there is an archive of his reflections and he posts several times a month- well worth looking at.
To Fran. Thank you for linking the Rolheiser quote prominently on your blog and also for backlink to me. You have loads of comments so it was very worthwhile and much needed. I feel quite good about it as I was in doubt about the best way to approach the whole issue so together we can do good !!