Love's Victory

Several years ago I came across an online squabble between some very sincere Catholics. Nothing abusive, but the tone of each typed comment was increasingly heated. I cannot, now, remember what the squabble was about, but I do remember the woman who intervened to calm things down. She reminded everyone that it would soon be Palm Sunday; did they really want to greet Jesus waving palms full of anger and discord? 

It's an excellent question for today, for Palm Sunday, but also for any day. After all, welcoming Jesus has to be a daily, hourly event, not an annual one! And as Jesus comes into our streets, our lives and our hearts, how do we greet him? What are the palms we wave and lay before him; what is our blessing, and our praise? And who do we bring with us, into the love and radiance of the king of glory?

But today, as we stand on the threshold of Holy Week, the question feels especially momentous. Today we begin the final week of Lent, and the final week of our journeying with Jesus into the depths and the strength and the awesome mystery of his unlimited, self-giving love for us all. And today, as every year, I begin this week conscious of how unprepared I feel; of graces and opportunities resisted or missed; of too much stalling, and too-convenient loopholes. My only consolation is remembering how dangerously smug I felt the only time I had an unwaveringly 'good', fervent Lent!

So, this morning I was especially heartened to come across a tweeted thread from Carmelite Spirit, which began with these words... Do you feel as though you've wasted Lent? It's not too late. This Palm Sunday, board the ship named "Love's Victory" and be carried throughout Holy Week deep into the mystery of Jesus.

And then a short reflection by the Carmelite author Ruth Burrows...

This great ship of Holy Week will carry us surely, strongly, into the Passion of Christ... All we have to do now is board the ship and allow it to take us all the way. We have nothing else to do but let it take us...

'But I have not got to the quayside even. It seems to me I have wasted Lent wrapped up in myself.' Never mind. Here you are, brought by the community of the Church. Get on board. Don't waste further time in useless lamentations which give no joy to God. Get on board. The moorings are cast, the sails billow in the breeze, and we are carried off deep into the mystery of Jesus.

So, no wasting time in useless regrets about the past five weeks! Let us board Love's Victory, and allow Love to carry us deep into the ocean of the mystery of Jesus, and of our redemption... 


  1. Thank you! So much food for thought.


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