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17 April 2011: Passion (Palm) Sunday

With the celebration of Passion Sunday this weekend we enter into the most solemn week of the church's year, Holy Week.

It has already been a most extraordinary year for all of us.  In our country, Cyclone Yasi raged across north Queensland.  Then there was the torrential rain and destructive flooding in Brisbane and other parts of Queensland, heavy rain and floods in Melbourne and country Victoria, fires in Western Australia.  Overseas there was the earthquake which levelled much of Christchurch, New Zealand and the other still more destructive earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

The victims who died, suffered and lost so much were innocent - just as Jesus was.  These disasters were not punishments sent by God for evil done.  It is a powerful reminder of how limited we are in our understanding of nature and how powerless we really area.

For many victims, Good Friday has already come and will often be revisited; for so many it may be an extended Holy Saturday - buried, abandoned, waiting and hoping.  The Jesus we follow in his suffering and death is an innocent victim, caught up in powerful movements and helpless like so many of us.

Yet, let us keep in mind that all this is for love of each and all of us.  "I have been crucified with Christ, and I live now not with my own life but with the life of Christ who lives in me.  The life I now live in this body I live in faith; faith in the Son of God who loved me and who sacrificed himself for my sake." (Galatians 2:19-20)