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Archives: April 2017
Join us July 7 and 8 for the Basilica Block Party.
Friday, July 7, 2017
Great Clips Stage
John Paul White
Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness
Star Tribune Stage
Jaedyn James & the Hunger
Saturday, July 8, 2017
Great Clips Stage
WALK THE MOON
Walk Off The Earth
Star Tribune Stage
Jackson & The Roosters
The MN Lottery Silent Disco returns on the East Lawn - dance like knowbody is watching (and only you can hear) until 11pm
Gates open at 5pm each night
All bands and order of appearance subject to change.
The Basilica Block Party began in 1995 as a fundraiser to help pay for the structural restoration of The Basilica of Saint Mary. Today, proceeds from the event benefit The Basilica Landmark, which preserves, restores and advances the historic Basilica of Saint Mary for all generations. In addition, a portion of all proceeds from The Basilica Block Party go to The Basilica’s St. Vincent de Paul outreach program, which provides services to those in need.
As we enter into the week of remembrance of the passion and death of Jesus, we come to a crossroads. Jesus, at the end of his ministry, proceeds towards Jerusalem where he will be confronted by the systemic evil of the day—the Roman Empire’s cooperation with the religious authorities to oppress the people of Palestine. Jesus preached and taught the message of forgiveness, love, and tenderness, often in opposition to the Law. The Pharisees were indeed upset with him. After witnessing Jesus’ miracles, his preaching in the Temple, and his large following, the Pharisees and Romans became threatened by his presence, his actions, and his message. Despite the fact that they wanted to kill him, Jesus knowingly continued on his journey to Jerusalem. This sealed his fate.
During this holy week we must decide to either go with him to Jerusalem or remain where we are in our comfort zones. The systemic evil of our day is prolific. On a global level, we don’t have to look very far to be aware of what is taking place in so many countries today. The towns and cities where the pointless slaughtering of men, women, children, and entire families has been carried out. It is beyond heartless and inhumane. In many cases we know that this has caused widespread famine and flight to other countries. It has left the most vulnerable, our children, without parents and families to care for them.
Jesus confronted the lack of forgiveness and love, the injustice, the oppression of the most vulnerable, throughout his life, right up until his death on the cross. He spoke against it. He acted in such a way that those who needed his love and forgiveness, were counted among those who received his compassion. He taught us by example. He told us that we would be blessed if we but remember with love those who are most in need.
If we are to walk this holiest of weeks along with Jesus, that means we must always be Jerusalem bound, just as he was. Sometimes it is a very long walk and it takes us places we don’t want to go. Sometimes it leads us right into the midst of power, not to become powerful, but to stand tall and speak truth to power. We walk along with Jesus to Jerusalem, to confront the systemic evils around us: war, poverty, hunger, homelessness, inequality.
If we call ourselves Christian, then we must walk with Jesus wherever that takes us. We need to have our eyes and hearts open wide to hear the call of being this kind of a disciple. We need not be fearful or bewildered. We will be part of the Body of Christ to which we belong. We will never be alone. We will walk side by side with each other following in the footsteps of the One who promised to be with us to give us strength and hope. We will get to announce the Kingdom of God along with Jesus and a new world without unrest, control, war, oppression, violence and hatred. For this is what we all seek as children of God and heirs to heaven.
For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser. https://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/040917.cfm
This Sunday we celebrate Palm Sunday, and the beginning of Holy Week. Each year on Palm Sunday we read one of the accounts of Jesus’ passion from the synoptic (Matthew, Mark, or Luke) Gospels. We read John’s account of the Passion on Good Friday. Since we are in the A cycle of our three year cycle of readings, this Sunday we read Matthew’s account of the Passion.
While all the Gospel writers tell the story of Jesus’ passion and death, each one does so from their own perspective. In his passion narrative Matthew includes details about Judas that aren’t included in Mark or Luke. Specifically, he mentions the exact payment Judas received for betraying Jesus, and Judas’ attempt to return that payment. Also, in Matthew’s Gospel Jesus refers to Judas as “friend” when Judas approaches to betray him. Additionally, at the Last Supper Matthew includes Jesus’ words that his blood will be shed “for the forgiveness of sins.” Also, since Matthew was written primarily for a Jewish audience, he includes Jesus’ statement that these events were unfolding so that the “Scriptures be fulfilled.” His Jewish audience probably would have understood this as a reference to the “servant of the Lord” mentioned in the prophet Isaiah, and the “righteous one” mentioned in the book of Wisdom. Another variant in Matthew’s passion narrative is that the chief priests and Pharisees ask that a guard be posted at Jesus’ tomb so that Jesus’ followers won’t be able to steal the body and claim that Jesus rose from the dead.
Perhaps the most significant element that is unique to Matthew, though, occurs when Pilot asked the crowd about the fate of Jesus. Specifically Matthew adds the verse that Jesus’ blood “should be upon us and on our children” (Mt. 27.25). Unfortunately through the centuries this verse (and others) have been used to suggest that the Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus. This idea was definitively rejected by the Second Vatican Council in its document: “Nostra Aetate,” and more recently by Pope Benedict XVI in his book: “Jesus of Nazareth – Part II.”
The important and essential thing about Matthew’s passion narrative is that he saw Jesus’ suffering as the fulfillment of the scriptures and that Jesus was the Messiah promised by God.
Our first reading this Sunday is taken from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. It is a part of the “Servant Songs.” The servant does the will of God, despite any suffering or hardship, and ultimately is vindicated by God.
Our second reading this Sunday is from the Letter of Paul to the Philippians. It is a hymn of praise to Christ who “emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him………”
Questions for Reflection/Discussion:
- As you read or listen to the passion, what stands out for you?
- In what way does Jesus’ passion challenge you?
- Why is it so hard for us to believe that because of Jesus Christ our sins are forgiven? Or perhaps the question really is: why is it so hard for us to accept this forgiveness?