Rejoice heartily, O daughter Zion,
shout for joy, O daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king shall come to you; a just savior is he,
Meek, and riding on an ass, on a colt, the foal of an ass.
He shall banish the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem;
The warrior's bow shall be banished, and he shall proclaim peace to the nations.
His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.
The end of the story is being written day by day, year by year, Easter by Easter on the lives of the church and the world. A microcosm of the ongoing struggle, of the two processions vying for the attention of Jerusalem, presents itself each year with the school year and spring break schedule imposing itself on the celebration of the Paschal Triduum and the holiest days of the year. Our little burg empties out during spring break, and in those unhappy years, occurring about 50% of the time, when spring break coincides with either Holy Week or Easter Week (preceded by Good Friday and the Easter weekend), we celebrate the most solemn celebrations of our faith with a decimated choir and ministry pool. That’s just the way it is.
Borg and Crossan end their book with a stunning paragraph that harkens back to the two processions with which they began it. It seems as good a place as any for me to think about Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion as we try to figure out where our allegiance lies this year, and with what degree of integrity we will renew our baptismal vows this year, wherever we may be on Easter Sunday:
“Holy Week and the journey of Lent are about an alternative procession and an alternative journey. The alternative procession is what we see on Palm Sunday, an anti-imperial and nonviolent procession. Now as then, that procession leads to a capital city, an imperial center, and a place of collaboration between religion and violence. Now as then, the alternative journey is the path of personal transformation that leads to journeying with the risen Jesus, just as it did for this followers on the road to Emmaus. Holy Week as the annual remembrance of Jesus' last week presents us with the always relevant questions: Which journey are we on? Which procession are we in?” (p. 216)