He is Risen.
Holy week tends to provoke deep theological insights for us Catholics, and in this day and age the Internet provides us like never before with heaps of opportunity for spiritual formation and new undertsandings of this most Holy of seasons. My addition to the deep-thinking mix this week…
…should we eat Hot Cross buns prior to Good Friday, or not?
this is an issue that splits our house to be honest. Some in our family (who shall remain nameless) feel strongly that hot cross buns should not be eaten until after the Good Friday service. Others with less self control eat them as soon as Countdown put them on sale (usually just after the Boxing Day sales have finished). Others wish they could eat them all year round, because they taste so good (except those ones with chocolate in them. Chocolate does not belong in a hot cross bun).
Do you have any traditions around hot cross buns? any particuar rituals, beliefs, opinions on these tasty treats? And for the more creative – share a recipe for them in the comments section also!
We had a beautiful Mass here on the weekend for Passion Sunday. Palms were blessed, hosannas were sung and we all stood to listen to the Passion. I don't know about you, but no matter how many times I hear the story of Jesus' death it still leaves me with a host of emotions.
What I can never get my head around is that two of the Gospel writers, Matthew and Mark, tell us that Jesus' last words were, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Why were these his last words? Surely he knew that his Father was with him? And if his faith faltered, what hope do the rest of us have when we face difficult times?
It's probably my least favourite line in all of the Bible, because I just don't get it. A pentecostal friend explained that it was because at that exact moment, Jesus took on all of the sins of the world and so God turned away. I don't know about that… surely that's when God would be most present?
What's your take on it? Why were Jesus' last words about God deserting him?
I had to read the news item twice to make sure I wasn't going mad, but it's true: Nicolas Cage is starring in a new adaptation of the Left Behind books. There's already been one version made which was pretty forgettable, and quite why Mr Cage feels that he wants to remake it is unclear. To the best of my knowledge he isn't Christian, so I think it is safe to say he doesn't have an evangelistic motive behind it.
This news reminded me of the books, and I am sure I wasn't the only BF'er back in the nineties reading them. The first few books start off as speculative fiction set as the Rapture occurs, and looks at the lives of those who have been, as the title makes clear, Left Behind. I really enjoyed the first book for what it was – pulp fiction – and slogged through a few more before finding them just getting too whacky to perservere with. The depiction of the Pope in the story is not positive and there is some thought that the books are anti-Catholic. I have to admit, that characterisation did jar for me, I felt it was unneccessary. There were some other characters in particular that I really liked, and genuninely engaged with their journeys. And of course I was interested to see how the story would end!!
I had long forgotten about the series, until I realised that our local public library remarkably had the whole series sitting on their shelves – all 16 books. I set myself the target of reading through them three or four years ago over a summer break, however I got as far as book 9 and just gave up – I couldn't stick with it. Just couldn't get interested enough or muster the enthusiasm to push through those last few books.
This new movie for me has the appeal of a trainwreck about it – I just can't look away – and despite my better judgement I will be watching it. Definitely not shelling out $20 to go to the movies on opening night, but it will be ending up in my DVD player at some point.
Anyone else here willing to admit their interest? Or am I well and truly alone on this one?
I don't know about you, but Holy Week is my favourite time in the Church's year. I love it! And right now I have that "night-before-Christmas" feeling as I think about it approaching next week.
The delights of Holy Week are endless…the glories of palm Sunday with the processions and the singing, coming home to plant a palm behind a holy picture, the beautiful Chrism Mass on Tuesday night that brings together all of the priests in the Diocese – their singing and fervour is something to behold, Mass on Holy Thursday night with the beautiful ceremony where the priest washes parishioners' feet, the solemnity and reverence of the Good Friday service and then all the drama of the Easter vigil… I can't wait!
My favourite part of Holy Week has to be Holy Thursday Mass. I love the Eucharist and attend faithfully on Sundays of course, but also on any other weekday when work permits. I feel like in remembering the Last Supper we are commemorating the foundation of the Eucharist and all it means for us. I love seeing parish priests humble themselves as Jesus did by washing the feet of others. I feel as though Holy Thursday sums up much of what we espouse as members of our great Church.
Holy Week is also the final culmination of all of our Lenten sacrifices. It's where we can give (or give up) a little extra because the Resurrection is near.
So… who's looking forward to Holy Week? And what's your favourite part?