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Making Room for Passion

The Rev. Dr. William Rich
April 11, 2019

Don’t we all want our lives to be enlivened by passion?  To live passionately means first discovering the source of your passion.  And then making room for that passion to flourish, dedicating yourself, honing that passion to its white-hot pitch. 


As we approach the week of Jesus’ Passion, I am wondering what fuels your passion.  In the closing days of his life and ministry, Jesus’ passion burns so hot that he is willing to give his everything – his entire life, body and spirit – to join us in an eternal bond with the One who sent him.


We call these coming days the week of Jesus’ Passion because, in everything he says and everything he does, love is his meaning.  His love for his Abba and for us burns up everything that would get in the way of that love.


He keeps choosing love over other possibilities.  Instead of fearful self-protection, on Palm Sunday he chooses to ride a gentle donkey who symbolizes peace, and not a powerful warhorse.  Even though he knows his disciples will betray him and abandon him, he does not castigate them, but instead gently washes their feet and feeds them.  Instead of leaving them with the burden of their guilt, he calls out: “Father, forgive them.”  And instead of abandoning them to the trauma of his horrific death, he meets them in the garden of new life outside his empty tomb.


Jesus does all this for love.  And to inspire our love.  Our love of him, our love of his Abba, our love of one another.


For his inspiring love to take effect, we have to do our part.  We have to show up over the course of these coming days so that his love can inflame our love.  So I invite you – no, I implore you – to set aside the time in this coming week to be with Jesus.  Join him on Palm Sunday, and learn how love inspires peace.  Join him on Maundy Thursday, and let his love soothe your weary body and feed you.  Join him on Good Friday and let his love show you that he is willing to forgive, no matter what.  And then join him for Easter for the mystery that inspires our hope: love never ends!


I greet you in the love of Christ as Holy Week dawns.


The Rev. William W. Rich

Interim Rector




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