Today’s reflection has been offered by Shannon O’Donnell, who has generously contributed to our blog before. Shannon is a jail chaplain and lives in Tacoma, Washington. Today’s reflection was not written with a particular day in mind, but it seems most fitting for Palm Sunday.
We’re sitting at a table in a hallway at the jail. It is mid-morning and there is a flurry of activity. One group of offenders is heads to the multi-purpose room for class while another lines up to cross the skybridge for court. Officers push carts filled with lunch sacks. Somehow laundry exchange happens. Ed is wearing the red pants and shirt he was issued when he was booked into jail three months ago. His orange plastic flipflops have seen many other feet over the years.
Ed ignores the noise and movement. He hunches over the table. He’s 40. “I’m looking at prison. Again.” He sighs. “I’m getting tired of this.” No wonder. It will be his fifth time. He has struggled with drugs, homelessness, mental health issues. His life is an epic case of Whack-a-Mole. He gets one thing under control only to lose something else. Coming to jail seems the only stable piece of his life.
“I started reading the bible Continue reading
Today we remember that Jesus’ entered Jerusalem to cries of Hosanna, meaning “save, we pray!” Hosanna is also interpreted to mean blessed as well. The messiah enters the holy city at the start of the festival of Passover to save and to bless – but not in any way that people might have imagined. We are also called to consider how we will enter into Jerusalem ourselves.
What are our hopes, dreams, beliefs, and prayers today? Do we cry out for Jesus to “save, we pray?” Do we cry out to be bless or be blessed? Do we believe that Jesus will , or in fact, has already, saved us? Or are we just showing up because they are giving out free palms? How will we enter Jerusalem?
If you went to or will go to mass on Palm Sunday you will be blessed by the Sprinkling Rite at the beginning of the liturgy, as the priest, deacons, or others go around the church with Holy Water. Will you Continue reading
We had a spectacular Palm Sunday at St. Edward the Confessor. It was so crowded at the 11am mass, all I could think of was the people lining the way as Jesus made his entry into Jerusalem. We were full and many people were standing, all around the perimeter of the church, even in the gathering space, and in the corridor that is near the sacristy, as you head over to the Faith Formation wing.
People say that the Catholic church is dying, but you would not know that if you came to our parish!
I was also at the 4pm mass on Saturday, which was comfortably full. On Saturday we had a full choir and bell ringers; it was beautiful. We had lovely music at 11am also; we are richly blessed with remarkable music ministry in our parish.
Here is a slide show of photos from the mass; there are a lot of pictures, so it will take a few moments for them to all float by.