As we begin Holy Week it is challenging and sobering to hear the scriptures again proclaiming the journey of Jesus and his disciples from acclaim and exhortation through suffering, denial and anguish to the cross. The reading of the scriptures can sometimes lull us into a sense of déjà vu – we have heard this before; we have been here before.
Can we hear the Word in a different way this Holy Week?
Can we hear the shouting and praising of Jesus on his entry to Jerusalem and recognise both the joy and the fickleness that this represents?
Can we hear the denials of Peter as he fails to accept responsibility for being a friend and disciple of Jesus – not once, not twice but three times. What did Peter lack in courage to own in his life? What did he refuse to face? Perhaps we can recognise in our own society the lack of responsibility taken for those who are excised from our immediate visual sphere. As a country, we still incarcerate refugees in offshore detention centres, we still trade people with other countries and across the oceans because we do not want them onshore in our own land. We still allow the engendering of fear in our society to inform our treatment of those who appear as ‘other’. At each turn we deny responsibility for these people who share our common humanity and whom, as a nation, we put out of sight.
Can we hear again the anguish of Jesus in the Garden – the anguish of all those who have survived ‘periods of darkness and ecclesial weakness’(EG#11) – and who calls us to new paths?
Can we hear the cry of our earth and its people as they cry out, "My God, My God why have you forsaken me?".
"Prophetic imagination…has a calling to walk our society into the crisis where it does not want to go, and to walk our society out of that crisis into newness that it does not believe is possible," wrote Walter Brueggemann.
During this Lent we have been asked to pour out the ashes of our life and during Holy Week we are called to walk with Jesus on the journey to the Cross. We are called to live with hope, new life, new creativity, new ways of being prophets in our time that will emerge in resurrection.