Sunday of the Palms and Passion
Christian conversion is promoted by conversation. This section is a response to and a development on the knowledge gained from the commentary section.
This Sunday's Exposition
At the heart of Christian mystery, we are asked to believe in things that seem contradictory, things we find hard to hold together. In Mark’s Passion Narrative, we see Jesus as the innocent victim of a vicious plot to do away with him. We are told sinful people, for a number of self-serving motives, choose to torture and murder him, an innocent person. We are also told that this is part of God’s express design for salvation. The prophecies concerning the suffering Messiah prove that Jesus’ death is not just a random act of useless suffering. Even though feeling fear, pain and desolation to an extreme degree, there is a core of calm in Jesus through to the end as he places his trust in God’s will for him. Something of the mystery of this contradictory death radiates out from Jesus as he dies and the person least likely to understand, the ultimate outsider, the hardened gentile centurion, gets it: ‘Indeed, this man was the Son of God!’ Only God could act like Jesus is such a situation.
We, too, in our stumbling ways share the faith of that centurion when we hold to the belief that God’s love and grace can shine through the awful acts of violence and sin with which our world is still torn.