Desert Journeys – 13/4/17

Desert Journeys 32

April 13th 2017

Nearly at the culmination of our Lenten desert journey with Christ, Holy Week is a smorgasbord of activities, and Maundy Thursday is the real beginning of the roller coaster which takes us to the height of emotions before plummeting into the abyss of Good Friday.

For bishops, clergy and lay ministers, the day starts in the cathedral for the Chrism Mass – a Eucharist where oils used for the sacraments throughout the year are blessed by the Bishop, and where the gathered ministers lay and ordained reaffirm their commitment to ministry.

Maundy Thursday liturgies later in the day include a re-enactment of Jesus’ washing of his disciples feet – challenging traditional leadership values – before the sharing in the last supper and the waiting in the garden. As we enter into these liturgies, we may feel overwhelmed by the sense of love and impending loss, the absurdity of Jesus’ journey – yet feel absolutely powerless to change it all.

In this singular journey with Christ, we enter the desert of the soul, and we are called to empty ourselves of our own desires that we may be filled with divine grace.

On Maundy Thursday, the shadow of the cross seems still far away, yet it is just around the corner. Can we bear to watch and wait, even for one hour?

Bertrand Olivier

Vicar, All Hallows by the Tower

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