Annunciation Palms


For quite some time in the Western Church no feast is allowed to coincide with Holy Week or Bright Week (as it is called in the East), so, from today until the Sunday after Easter any feast that shows up gets either ignored or moved. Thus the Liturgical Celebration of Annunciation is, this year, on 9 April.

But, today is 25 March, the Annunciation of Our Lord to Mary. It is also Palm Sunday. And so we are permitted an odd confluence of images in meditation. Of the Angel coming to Mary announcing  Liberation from Sin on the one hand and, on the other, of the Crowds coming to Jesus announcing liberation from Rome; of Mary’s humble acceptance by her human fiat of God’s plan, and of the Crowd’s rejection of that plan when they realized Jesus wasn’t going to do anything political, in fact, he implicated them in the politics of oppression as well.

For humans don’t want to see political oppression as the result of human sin. It is a symptom, not the disease.

The Annunciation to Mary that God was going to act in this backwood country, in the life of this unwed teenager was a profoundly political act, sure. It is only accidentally so. But to cure the disease you have to start at the roots, if not below them. The human race needed to be restarted, a human mother, God acting, this could not be done in a place where Emperors walk. But kings must be brought low to worship Divinity. And all raised together. If you miss the glory of God acting, the politics are only a shell, an idol, an icon of only more sin.

Yet bread and circuses win the race in the short term. And crowds seeing no kingdom by Wednesday will walk away, or turn angry and what was a mob of cheers will be come a basket of deplorables, easily led by their own anger. They follow the idol of Rome, even when they hate it. They do God’s will even when they think they reject it.

Humble submission to God’s plan is required, but even the mob can be part of it.

So Angels hail full of Grace and Cry on the same day for human blindness. We hail our king (and his mother) only to betray them both in a short while. How often that happens every day, when morning prayers are done and we walk out into the world.

Hail full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. We were going to tak him a way, and we said we’re going to make him king, but we’re going to take him away to crucify him.
This is our secret plot.
But it is the divine plan from the beginning.
And you see us cheer
You know the jeers
Help us come to sing

Author: Huw Richardson

I'm no Benedictine, but I'm too old for the Franciscans. I'm in the process of moving servers... so trying to keep both of my "linked sites" in sync until there's only one. There can be only one. Huw Richardson was born in Atlanta under a different name about 55 years ago. I never knew my father nor any of his kin. I’ve lived all over: I was never in the same house for 3 Christmases until I was over 40. I’ve not yet made it to 4. Rootlessness seems to be a way of life and every time I think I’m about to root, it ends up not happening. Yet I’ve made some amazing friends online. I’ve met some awesome people all over the world. I’ve met religious leaders and heads of state and famous movie stars. I’ve also managed to be debt-free. I’ve stood on the Hill of Tara and touched the Lia Fail. It did not cry out. I’ve kissed the Blarney Stone as well, if you can’t guess. I have illicitly touched ancient, holy statues to see if anything would happen and I have never used flash photography when I should not have. I’ve been a bookseller, a call center drone, a trainer, a convert, a preacher, a monk, a planter, a secretary, a writer, and an activist. My patron is Blessed Stanley Rother. When I’m in trouble, he’s got my back. He prays for me, along with St Rose of Lima, St. Catherine of Siena, St John Henry Newman, Bl Fulton J Sheen, and Bl. William Richardson. I’m a Dominican Tertiary and a member of Courage International. This is home: I’ve found my roots by using my wings. What’s next? I don’t know. Part of me wants to just pick out a camper and gig my way around the world. Part of me wants to own a pub in Ireland and feed my soul with good music until forever. Part of me has always taught. Some part of me dances whenever the moon is full. Another part of me kneels in awe in the darkness as all the stars spin but the cross stands still.