Passion Sunday

Yesterday was Passion Sunday, the beginning of the holiest week of the Christian calendar. Following services at a local church, I went with my husband into his office because he had some work to complete before Monday morning.  I was merely going to help him place some pictures around his office and then take a walk through the monuments on the mall as he completed his work.

As we entered the federal building the security guard met us and screened all of our belongings and we walked through the detector.  Since it was Sunday, and few people were entering the building, the guard had the rare opportunity for a little chat.  He made comment on what a beautiful day it was.  “Yes,” I agreed.  “It was a little cloudy as we made our way to church this morning, but it’s clearing up now.”

“And how was the service?” he asked politely in his lovely African accent.  “Crowded!” I responded noncommittally.  “And the message?” he asked, “How was the message?”

Pausing for a moment, trying to find the correct words, I said “A little weak.”  I had wanted to hear a homily that was deep and thoughtful, one that would speak personally to me and touch my spiritual hunger; something to sustain me for the week to come as I prepared for this holiest of weeks, through the passion of our Lord, to the glory of Easter.

“Ah,” he said, the fullness of his obsidian face smiling broadly, revealing the kindness of his spirit within, “So the message was for someone else.”

His remark hit me like a splash of cold water!  Of course!  Not everything is about me!  What a graced moment, and one that I will carry with me through this week of our Lord’s passion and death.  The message was for someone else.  That is a little piece of the passion all by itself – not everything is about me.  In fact, most things in life are not about us at all!  We must learn to broaden our horizons and realize that there are others on this journey with us.

And so begins Holy Week with a vivid reminder of some of the simple passions we all must live.  A graced moment for a graced week.

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