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The days leading up to Easter are challenging. On Palm Sunday we see Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, showing the powers that be his contempt for Romeís cruel misrule. That sets the tone for what is to come: confrontation in the Temple, plotting all around, betrayal, arrest, torture and death. And through it all, we might well wonder what itís all about.
The lesson of Holy Week, I believe, is to remind us of Godís real presence in a world of deep hatred and fear. Jesus pointed to the inclusive Kingdom of God as a rival to the Empire of Caesar. He went further, telling people that they should follow in his way of love and justice Ė not just for some but for all. As a result, he became a marked man on a one-way journey to a Roman Cross.
That may be challenging enough, but the outcome of his lonely journey to death was to shake the world ís religious and social structures for centuries to come, for on Easter Day, all the old presuppositions were swept away by the unstoppable Love of God. The victory of Easter is seen in the Resurrection, attested to by the early Church and felt today through Godís presence in the Holy Spirit in the Church and the world.
Our heads might struggle to take in the message of the gospels, yet our hearts can leap at the prospect of Godís Love for all shown at an empty tomb in the early light of dawn.
Yes, those days leading up to Easter are challenging. But the journey is of priceless value.