Thursday, March 29, 2012

Passion Sunday Year B - Mark 14:1-15:47

The Passion of the Christ according to Mark begins with a woman (name forgotten) who is remembered for her costly act of devotion and ends with two women (names remembered) who see where “he was laid”. It is a story with the usual cast of characters in a human drama; betrayers, deniers, accusers, abusers, the clueless crowd crying crucify and the faithful few fear scattered and hiding. In the center of it all is the One to whom the “beautiful thing is done” by the name forgotten as a sign of the burial that the names remembered see. From the table with the twelve to the garden of “take this cup from me” the confident One who predicts his death and resurrection moves inextricably to the moment when “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?” means the Holy One bears the full weight of the world gone horribly wrong. Not that God the (perfect) Father turns his back on the (sin carrying sacrifice) Son but that God enters so fully into the human rebellion against Divine desire that the power and majesty of the “in the beginning” creating Word is abandoned to the inevitable reality of “he emptied himself and humbled himself unto death.” (Philippians 2:7-8) A God divested of power is a God quickly stripped of life. So the beginning is as important as the end. The woman (name forgotten) is remembered because the one she anointed for burial while alive came back to life after he was dead and the women (names remembered) could point to the empty place where “swear to God” they saw him buried.

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