Reflection on Palm Sunday: 10th April 2022

The day between dying and rising

From Palm Sunday until Easter Sunday we immerse ourselves in what we call the Paschal Mystery which includes the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. Although it is for liturgical and catechetical reasons, spread over a week, it should be seen as an indivisible single experience.1 Today we are being invited to slow down so that this week doesn’t go by without our taking the time to enter into its meaning, which is the ultimate meaning of our lives.2

Perhaps Holy Saturday is the day we find most difficult to respond to this invitation. We may even have the feeling that Lent is over. However, ‘this is the day that our cross consists of holding the tension between one space and another. This is called liminal space where we sometimes need to not-do and not-perform according to our usual successful patterns. It is in these transitional moments of our lives that authentic transformation can happen.’3 ‘Holy Saturday is the ultimate liminal space.’4

‘For Jesus’ followers it was a day of sorrow and bewilderment, bereft of the one around whom they had shaped their lives. This is the day between dying and rising. This day calls us to hold our anguish and our hope in the same hand. It invites us to marvel that when our hearts have been shattered, they somehow manage to keep beating, that we somehow manage to keep breathing. On this day we may identify with the psalmist when he says, ‘I have become like a broken vessel.’ (Ps 31). For this Lenten day, I offer you this blessing:

Blessing for a Broken Vessel

Do not despair. You hold the memory of what it was to be whole.
It lives deep in your bones.
It abides in your heart that has been torn and mended a hundred times.
It persists in your lungs that know the mystery
of what it means to be full, to be empty, to be full again.
I am not asking you to give up your grip on the shards you clasp so close to you,
but to wonder what it would be like for those jagged edges
to meet each other in some new pattern that you have never imagined,
that you have never dared to dream.’5

Adapted: [1] Living Space, [2] Living Liturgy, [3] Richard Rohr, [4] Alison Barr, [5] Jan Richardson