Sixth Sunday of Lent, April 1. 2012
Reflections for the Lenten Season
Sixth Sunday of Lent, April 1. 2012
Blessed is He who Comes in the Name of the Lord
Mark 14:1-15 (pdf)
As I prepare these reflections on the readings, I am taken aback by the juxtaposition of the two major events mirrored even in the title of the Sunday: the palm procession and the procession to the cross. It seems it did not take much to turn the happy parade route of wavers of palm and olive branches singing “Hosanna to the Son of David” to a bloodthirsty mob crying “Crucify him!” How can it be that Jesus is praised and welcomed one day, and before the week’s end is ridiculed, tortured and denied by the same citizens of Jerusalem? Is my own commitment so fickle?
I think about the examples of mob psychology in action I see on the evening news, and how quickly the pendulum of public opinion can swing. I’ve witnessed how a simple off-the-cuff remark in political debate can change the tide of sentiment for or against a candidate in the blink of a “sound-byte”. Is my own commitment so fickle?
I am intrigued and caught by the fact that the focus for the readings of this Sunday and week: not the mob or the crowd, but the “disciple.” I want to spend time with those who stood firm to their values and beliefs; to meditate on how they created, counted on, and sustained community, sometimes in the midst of the chaos of the crowd. I want to learn from them. The readings are filled with examples: women and men who washed feet – with tears, alabaster jars of perfumed oil and basins of water, and who allowed others to wash their feet; women and men who stood courageously, or reached out along the way or at the foot of the cross with quiet strength in the presence of cruel death. I am invited to enter into the choices of Mary the Mother of Jesus, John the Beloved, Veronica (my own patron saint!), Simon from Cyrene, Mary of Magdala, Peter, and the other disciples of Jesus.
As the Church moves from “palm” to “passion”, join me in spending time with these ancestors in the faith. Perhaps their example will strengthen us to recommit ourselves to whatever we are doing to contribute to the building up of a community of love and care by our own daily actions. The College’s Mission Statement asks us, whether students, alumnae, faculty, staff or friends, to “continually assess [our] response to the complex needs and challenges of the contemporary world.” May the choices we make today be purposeful in witnessing who and Whose we are.
-Sister Veronique Wiedower, CSC '70
Sister M. Veronique Wiedower, CSC, graduated from Saint Mary's College in 1970 with a Bachelor of Music. She made perpetual profession in the Sisters of the HolyCross in 1973 and received her MA in Theology from the University of Notre Dame in 1979. She has taught music, liturgy, and theology and has worked with the religious formation of young women and men for religious life and priesthood. She served on the Congregation's General Leadership Team for ten years, and was appointed Vice President for Mission at Saint Mary's in June 2011. The College and the Congregation are two important beacons in her life and she looks forward to keeping the relationship between them strong and vibrant.
Weekly Gospel Readings for the Week of April 1st
John 12:1-11 (pdf)
"You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me."
John 13: 1-33, 36-38 (pdf)
"What you are going to do, do quickly."
Matthew 26:14-25 (pdf)
"...My appointed time draws near."
John 13:1-15 (pdf)
"If I have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet."
John 18:1-19:42 (pdf)
"It is finished."
Matthew 28:1-10 (pdf)