Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
In 2007 I was invited by the West Island Women’s Centre to speak at their vigil held on December 6 of each year. This vigil focusses on the massacre of the 14 women at the École Polytechnique, an event that has led to the creation of this day, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women.
I, as a man, asked to speak at this event: I accepted the invitation with many qualms. Here is what I said on this day in 2007.
Jesus did not want everyone to know where he and his close followers were, because he needed a bit of time to teach them.
As he walked on from Galilee, with his eyes on the potholes and ruts in the dirt of the road ahead, his mind had a different vision: a clamouring crowd calling for his crucifixion; and a hill with a cross.
When many of us were growing up, this was Palm Sunday, focussed simply on that glorious entry - not, as it is often called today, Palm Passion Sunday, with the dual focus on both the procession and at least some of the events of Holy Week.
So you have heard sermons and reflections on the theme of that procession - the humility, the glory.
With texts like this one, it is sometimes challenge to find another layer of meaning to add to the solid base that has probably been laid over past years.
Andrew was a follower of John the baptizer. One day, after Jesus’ baptism, John draws attention to Jesus. Andrew sees Jesus and asks Jesus where he was staying.
Jesus says: “Come and see.”
In fact, Jesus was inviting Andrew to come and believe:
inviting Andrew to follow, to make Jesus a part of his life.... and thus to believe.
And Andrew followed, and saw.
And Andrew invited Peter, his brother.
Today, I want to bring a more meditative approach, looking at both of our readings, so I would encourage you to make sure that you are comfortable, hymn books aside, feet on the floor. You may choose to close your eyes for now - the image on the screen will not change.
In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.