top of page
  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

1112: No matter where we are, we each can attempt to engage in an ongoing quest for the sacred

Day 1112: Palm Sunday, April 2, 2023

No matter where we are, or what surrounds us, we each can attempt to engage in an ongoing quest for the sacred

At one time throngs of people around the world would be walking in solemn processions, waving and shouting “Hosanna.” The political theater being acted out in Jerusalem centuries ago was a precursor to conflicts that have remained with us to the present day.

It was Passover, and hundreds of thousands of Jews from all over the Roman Empire had come together to celebrate at the Temple in Jerusalem. The Romans were control freaks and saw enormous challenges to their oppressive rule in such crowds of freedom-loving Jews.

So up from their comfortable city on the Mediterranean came the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, and a large cohort of soldiers and cavalry. Real Hollywood drama, meant to intimidate the populace: horses, armor, military formations, trumpets, drums, lots of metal and gold — power, power, power. They entered the western gate, their presence proclaimed the Roman Empire and the Emperor Tiberius, who was the stepson of a god.

At the same time, entering from the eastern gate comes a rag-tag peasant mob with Jesus of Nazareth riding on a donkey. What were those ordinary folks proclaiming? The Kingdom of God, not Rome, symbolized by telling the Passover story of God’s deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. There were probably people following Jesus who didn’t know much about him, but were simply in favor of anything that was not Roman.

Which procession would we each have been in then? Now?

In his book The Wrecking Crew, Historian Thomas Frank (1965 - ) makes a statement that Jesus and some of his followers coming into Jerusalem would have understood.

Corruption is uniquely reprehensible in a democracy because it violates the system’s first principle, which we all learned back in the sunshiny days of elementary school: that the government exists to serve the public, not particular companies or individuals or even elected officials.

Today some of us may be in churches. Some may watch traditional ceremonies on television. Many of us are going to be alone or with family, and some sick folk may be sharing the space with us. Wherever we are we can open our hearts as did those followers of Jesus, and perhaps reflect on the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226).

Lord, Make Me An Instrument Of Your Peace.

Where There Is Hatred Let Me Sow Love.

Where There Is Injury, Pardon.

Where There Is Doubt, Faith.

Where There Is Despair, Hope.

Where There Is Darkness, Light.

Where There Is Sadness, Joy.

O Divine Master,

Grant That I May Seek Not So Much To Be Consoled

As To Console;

To Be Understood, As To Understand;

To Be Loved, As To Love.

For It Is In Giving That We Receive,

It Is Pardoning That We Are Pardoned,

And It Is In Dying That We Are Born To Eternal Life.


Rest. Be mindful of what is around you and what you hear. Some of us may be at our home. Some on the crest of a hill. Some watching the ocean. Some beside a hospital bed. But we are all joined together at this moment.

This week is a time for each of us to reflect on the deepest realities and hopes of our lives.

No matter where we are, or what surrounds us, we each can attempt to engage in an ongoing quest for the sacred — and in that we are united just as surely as if we stood together in the world's most magnificent cathedral or in a circle of ancient trees.

And this is the way we will travel together through this week, made Holy in this unique and challenging time.

Brother Toby

28 views0 comments
bottom of page