Reflections for

Palm Sunday, Apr 09, 2017

Liturgy of the Palms: Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29; Matthew 21:1-11

 

Liturgy of the Passion: Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 31:9-16; Philippians 2:5-11; Matthew 26:14-27:66 or Matthew 27:11-54

On Art

St. Ann Christ (with detail), by Chris Scala

While many artists seek to convey a sense of the layers of suffering and anguish in the Passion of Christ, few consider what the medium itself conveys. This life-sized sculpture appears weightless, and it radiates light and lightness. “In the context of my artworks,” Scala writes, “the use of partially transparent wire fabrics allows the examination of the underlying structure of the subject. By shaping Christ’s image into a hollow form and introducing gold to the surface, the sculpture takes on a transparent and yet reflective character.” 

Poetry

Jesus is nailed to the cross

One year Marie gave up TV for Lent.
If Jesus Christ could bear His cross, then kite
on it three hours so we’d repent,
sacrifice in return was merely right.
I swore off sweets, only to break my fast
with thieved chocolate, watching Lord of the Flies,
a film exposing my black soul. Aghast,
I rushed to my sister’s room for advice.
She was asleep, my parents too. Spilling
from the TV, English schoolboy savages
marched the house, whetted for blood and killing.
I screamed for Jesus. But His ravages
snared Him, like a film, in cruel depiction—
as if it were my own crucifixion.

Poetry

Blood

               When we think of the blood of Christ,
                we think of the unnumbered insults;
                       the five wounds; the blood
                  beading from the thorn incisors
                          encircling his head

                        But what if, instead,
               we thought of the blue and red
              twining vessels of the umbilicus,
     what if we pictured the roseate and warm
          web of nutrients we call placenta?

                        Why not envision the body of Mary
               her autonomic brain as it was building,
                  creating a network of feeding and growing:
     caring and corpuscle, healing and hemoglobin,
 making a mammal’s four-chambered heart,
             fed by the rich cake we call placenta,
      shaping salvation’s vascular system?

                    Christ’s heart took shape in Mary’s body.
His blood first coursed her valves and veins.
      It was made with her womb’s weaving,
              overcast by heaven’s venture,
            manifest through serving love,
                      cell by alizarin cell.

On Art

John After Delacroix

In the foreground of Eugène Delacroix’s classic The Entombment of Christ is a poignant image of the disciple John sitting, bent forward, contemplating the crown of thorns. By painting John and the crown alone, Ebenezer Sunder Singh shines a spotlight on this pregnant moment, offering a chance to ponder the wisdom of God which seems like folly to human beings. “The image of the thorn crown is a recurring phenomenon in my works over many years,” says the artist. “I use it as a compulsive pictorial symbol, and at the same time I revere it as the symbol of pain, shame and hope. I think John in Delacroix’s painting knows this secret, so he is contemplating this symbol of recreation and regeneration.” Singh’s work is shown frequently in galleries in the U.S. and India.

—Lois Huey-Heck

 

Revised Common Lectionary © 1992 the Consultation on Common Texts. Used by permission.