His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, they remembered that these things had been written of him and had been done to him. - John 12:16
Reflection by Janet Derby
Because we are away and will be traveling on Easter, my husband and I decided to attend Palm/Passion Sunday Mass at a church in Lisbon. The church of São Domingos is centuries old and sadly, was the site of massacre of Jews that began on Easter Sunday. There is a memorial just outside in the street. So, no, we disciples don’t always get it. Yet, the church has also survived, not only that sad history, but two earthquakes and a devastating fire. The priests and altar boys and girls processed in from the street with incense and palms, followed by the people who filled the church, as they have for over a thousand years.
Having grown up Catholic, the order of worship and the rituals were familiar, in spite of the language barrier. As has been the tradition in the Catholic church, the entire Passion story was read. For some reason, the Scripture was read in French, so I was able to pick up enough words to know where in the story they were. As I listened, I thought about the huge number of people who have attended similar services throughout its history and heard the same story told of Jesus and his love for humanity. I was reminded again of the importance of those rites and traditions as I heard the devastating news of the fire at Notre Dame. We don’t always understand, but we do need to remember and retell the good news of God’s love for each of us as exemplified in the life of Christ.
Thank you for all the churches and people around the globe who continue to tell the story of Jesus so that we may follow his example and show your love to all. Amen.