Palm Sunday, and the woodland creatures been up early preparin the way down at the north end of the lake across from Our Lady of Fatima. The sun is up and the wind has died down, the church'll be packed today. A lot of my neighbors are sufferin, a lot of people whose jobs have disappeared. Attendance always goes up with neediness. Father Bob welcomes you.
I fell away from the church some years ago -- too much goes on in there that don't make sense. Wine into blood, a wafer into flesh. Ding ding ding. Do this in remembrance of me. Ding ding ding. I believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Quist ast me, "Hey poot, you ever been to St. Peter's? All that pomp and power, all that stone. Meant to make you feel small. You see Christ in there anywhere?"
I thought to myself, no, I dint. I saw Raphael's Transfiguration and wept for beauty, I saw the work of Bramante and Michelangelo and gave thanks for the glory of human genius. But under that great dome, all I felt was the oppressive weight of worldly riches. You come there bringin that big hunger for the spiritual moment. You hear the cameras goin click and the echo of a thousand whispers. Your hear the tap tap tap of footsteps. Slowly you become aware just how empty it is. A big uncaring absence.
I can't get The Passion out of my mind. And it's not just because of Bach or Grunewald. Jesus comes into town on a donkey, dressed plainly, with dirty feet and greasy hair. The guy who speaks the truth and pisses off the priestly caste, those in power. The guy who can't be bought, the guy who hangs out with lowlifes. Another guy without a job. A threat.
The priests hate him, the Romans hate him, and the mob hates him. He knows that they don't know what they're doin, just like humans throughout history, but it don't make a difference. He acts humble, he forgives. It just makes 'em madder and madder and finally they kill him. I don't know about the rest of the story, but that part I get.
And now it's pink bunnies in the bakery window and trippin over chocolate eggs down at the entrance to Shop-Rite. Over-priced bouquets. A new outfit for Sissy, a haircut for Bobby. Long live Jesus the Widdle Teddy Bear!
I sit here in the morning sun, quiet as a lizard, writing my little blog in a vain act of self-assertion, about to play my role in this year's crucifixion, along with the rest of creation. Oh my people.