Sunday, March 20, 2016

Passion Sunday
The Quiet after the Storm

At Mass today, the Passion from St. Luke’s Gospel will be read. Some will read it all the way though with just one voice. Others will read the Passion in parts, with the “crowd” carrying out its role among others. Some will even include a bit of drama, music, and staging. For me, the “how” of the proclamation doesn’t matter so much as the “why” of the proclamation.  There are all kinds of commentaries and homilies and sermons out there as to the “why” – a lot of which is online. I will leave them to you to discover and read. But there is one particular instruction that also gives direction on how to consider this narrative.

Following the Passion, the instructions for the Mass read, “After the narrative of the Passion, a brief homily should take place, if appropriate. A period of silence may also be observed.” Normally, the rubrics for the Mass are quite clear that a homily is to be preached and not omitted and no mention is made of the length of the homily as well. Perhaps this may be because a homily has already been preached at the beginning of Mass when the palms are blessed. Perhaps. But there may be something at work beyond that simple answer.

Could it be that we are being invited to simply encounter the Passion as it is, each in our own way, without much need for commentary? In the face of what we have heard, perhaps silent meditation is the best response.

After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave.” (1 Kings 19: 12-13)

Most Rev. Christopher Coyne, Bishop of Burlington

Procession Gospel: Luke 19:28-40
First Reading: Isaiah 50:4-7
Psalm 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24
Second Reading: Philippians 2:6-11
Gospel: Luke 22:14—23:56

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

No comments: