Saturday, March 27, 2010

The big disconnect and Holy Week

Saturday night. It is Passion Sunday, and Holy Week is under way. Every year without fail, something grabs me on this day. No matter what kind of downer I might be in, or what kind of un-spiritual space, Holy Week has a way of reminding me about what is truly important, and how it is that I can function at all in this world. It is the Passion, death, and Resurrection of Jesus without which I would somehow have to get through life on my own. I learned a long time ago that won't work.

The disconnect between the way we humans think of ourselves, on the one hand, and what the Cross did for us, on the other, came into stark relief recently with a news headline. Seems that some civil servants in Ontario were about to be laid off, then paid a huge severance, then hired back to do the exact same job the next day. Commentators and letter writers were making big noises about the greed of it all. One writer begged the civil servants to turn down the manna from the sky. But another commentator noted they probably would not do so, since it would be a function of 'their entitlement to their entitlements.'

Entitlement to their entitlements. That is a new one. I have been writing about the 'age of entitlement' for a number of years now, in which the current generation selectively excuses itself from the rules. Running red lights. Ok for me, not for you. Parking at the door of Tim Horton's with my motor running and the nearest parking space 20 feet away. That's ok for me. You go park in the parking space.

But entitlement to their entitlements. I hadn't thought of that. I have a right to my rights. My rights. Get out of my way.

Holy Week blows that all into smithereens. Jesus knew his rights, don't you think? Wouldn't you have claimed them, in his place?

Instead, his total interest, his total regard, was for us, for everyone but himself. That is what love does. It looks out for the other person, not for 'me.' Hey, you go ahead in line. Hey, sorry I got in your way. Hey, sorry I inconvenienced you. Hey, you know what, you have a good point there .........

May this Holy Week be a time for us to reclaim our freedom - our freedom from the tyranny of entitlement, our freedom for open and unconditional love for one another.

Out in the Orchard, signs of spring are asserting themselves. New life. Resurrection. Triumph over 'me'. The denizens if the Orchard know how this works, let's make sure we are among their numbers.

Have a great Holy Week.

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