Passion

Here you come, making your grand entrance into Jerusalem
Sitting on a donkey
Weeping over the Holy City
Emptying yourself
Letting the crowds hail you
Holy Week … Passion Week
Passion: from the Latin pati, meaning “to suffer or endure”
If you knew all that was to come, would you have turned around?

Santisimo de Cristo – Cathedral of Burgos, Spain

Active early in the week
Chasing moneychangers out of the temple
Cursing a fig tree
Honoring a widow’s generosity
Foretelling the destruction of the temple
Playing verbal cat and mouse with the chief priests
Radical love and righteous anger
Two sides of the same coin
My kingdom is not of this world
Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God
A passion for justice nailing your coffin.

At night, retreating to the safety of Bethany
Staying with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus
Accepted and loved as you are
Allowing a woman to anoint your head with oil
Let her alone; why do you trouble her?
She has done what she could
Anointed my body beforehand for burial
Passive: being the object of action rather than causing action.

A last supper with your disciples
Sitting next to the one who would betray you
How could you keep your composure?
A fight breaking out: who is the greatest?
Have I not taught you anything?
Bread and wine: offering your own body and blood for the sake of the world.

Jesus in Gethsemane – The Basilica of Agony (Church of All Nations), Jerusalem

Great drops of sweat pouring out of you
If it is possible, let this cup pass from me
Everyone sleeping
Would I have done the same?
Friend, do what you are here to do
The hour is at hand
No turning back
Passive – derived from “passion”: suffering without resistance.

Three years of action, now only passion
Tell us if you are the Messiah, the son of God
You have said so
They spit, strike, slap
No response
Peter sitting outside, the only one
Certainly you are also one of them
I do not know the man
The cock crows for me, too
Jesus’ last night on this earth spent in prison.

Are you the king of the Jews?
You say so
Don’t you hear how many accusations are made against you?
Passive
Who should I release for you?
Barabbas!
What should I do with this Jesus?
Let him be crucified!
Pilate actively washing his hands
Jesus passively putting himself into God’s hands.

Crucifixion
Passion
Submission
Let it be to me according to your word
Women beating their breasts and wailing
The disciples: where are they?
This is Jesus, the King of the Jews
He saved others; he cannot save himself
Remember me when you come into your kingdom
Forgiving a thief on the cross
One last action
Today you will be with me in Paradise.

Charred cross from WW2 – Coventry Cathedral, England

Passion: It is finished
Action: The curtain of the temple torn in two
Earth shaking, rocks splitting, tombs opening
The centurion and those watching over Jesus
Truly this man was God’s son
The first converts
Resurrection before resurrection.

Lord Jesus, I give myself to you
Passive, waiting
I want to begin a new life now
I give to you all of my fears and failures
I release them into your hands.

Fill all of me with all of you
Resurrection power
Offering all that I am and hope to become
A pure expression of your love
All you want is love for you
For my neighbor
And my world
Passion.

7 thoughts on “Passion

  1. I’ve often read or watched all of the events of the last week, but I have never seen them presented in such a visceral manner.

    Thank you!

  2. Each week I am blessed by your spirit that spills generously into the page. This week you led me down the path of Jesus’ passion and I saw it as if for the first time.. Never noticed so clearly the power of the “passive”. Thank you. Peace

  3. Bishop Laurie,

    of all the “passion plays’ that I have seen; I’ve never seen or read
    such a moving description of
    Jesus’s last day.

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