SONG: Transgression by Kodak Black: https://youtu.be/iMy1o0XUWg8
POEM: William Shakespeare: Sonnet 120 (excerpt) … And for that sorrow which I then did feel Needs must I under my transgression bow …
QUOTE: Leo Buscaglia: I exist, I am, I am here, I am becoming, I make my own life and no one else makes it for me. I must face my own shortcomings, mistakes, transgressions. No one can suffer my non-being as I do, but tomorrow is another day, and I must decide to leave my bed and live again. And if I fail, I don’t have the comfort of blaming you or life or God.
Themes from Gospel of John for Palm Sunday.
Help Now! That’s what hosanna actually means. On Palm Sunday, we celebrate with the word Hosanna, but what we’re actually doing is calling out for rescue, for intercession, for help. Immediately. Right now.
When do you need help for yourself? Yet how hard is it to receive help, instead being the one with the capacity and resources to offer help? This is the puzzle and the blessing: how we become hope for others by accepting hope for ourselves, too. — Rev Gail
Tigers Above, Tigers Below
There is a story of a woman running away from tigers. She runs and runs and the tigers are getting closer and closer. When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds on to the vines. Looking down, she sees that there are tigers below her as well. She then notices that a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass. She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly. Tigers above, tigers below. This is actually the predicament that we are always in, in terms of our birth and death. Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life; it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life. ― Pema Chödrön
HELP For Ourselves; HOPE for Others
Non nobis solum nati sumus. (Not for ourselves alone are we born.) ― Marcus Tullius Cicero
The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another. ― Charles Dickens
When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed. ― Maya Angelou
Doing nothing for others is the undoing of ourselves. ― Horace Mann
It’s not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something. May I suggest that it be creating joy for others, sharing what we have for the betterment of personkind, bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely. ― Leo Buscaglia
Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity. ― Pema Chödrön
Remember this. Hold on to this. This is the only perfection there is, the perfection of helping others. This is the only thing we can do that has any lasting meaning. This is why we’re here. To make each other feel safe. ― Andre Agassi
My job isn’t to fix or rescue or to save. It’s to accompany, see people, listen to them. — Greg Boyle
A lot of the time we don’t know when we’re surrendering that we’re actually, at the same time, maybe establishing connection … to a power greater than ourselves — or something in the next concentric circle out whose name is not me. So, that to me is where help begins. You know, we’re often ashamed of asking for so much help because it seems selfish or petty or narcissistic, but I think, if there’s a God — and I believe there is — that God is there to help. That’s what God’s job is. — Anne Lamott
HELP NOW! What Hosanna Means
But what I didn’t know until this week is what the word “hosanna” actually means. All these years, I thought it meant some churchy version of “We adore you!” or “You rock!” or “Go, king!” It doesn’t. In Hebrew, it means something less adulatory and more desperate. Less generous and more demanding. It means, “Save now!” — Debie Thomas
The Hebrew word Halleluia means “praise the Lord;” Hosanna means “save us!” or “save!” — Steve Vredenburgh
“Hosanna” does come from an old Hebrew phrase, but one that was less praise and more desperate plea. “Save now!” It was a phrase stripped of all pretense of politeness. “Help!” Its insistent cry was one reserved for royalty or divinity. “Deliver us! Don’t wait!” The people are either calling Jesus “king” or “God” or both. … My own mind is drawn today to Anne Lamott’s book … Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers. In it, Lamott says that all prayers boil down to these three simple words: help, thanks, wow. And more often than not, these concepts overlap and run together. … I think a truly holy Hosanna can hold these three words together, this help, thanks, and wow. Hosanna cries for deliverance. It calls out in gratitude. And it gives voice to holy awe. — Marthame Sanders
Love — Rumi
Are you fleeing from Love because of a single humiliation?
What do you know of Love except the name?
Love has a hundred forms of pride and disdain,
and is gained by a hundred means of persuasion.
Since Love is loyal, it purchases one who is loyal:
it has no interest in a disloyal companion.
The human being resembles a tree; its root is a covenant with God:
that root must be cherished with all one’s might.
A weak covenant is a rotten root, without grace or fruit.
Though the boughs and leaves of the date palm are green,
greenness brings no benefit if the root is corrupt.
If a branch is without green leaves, yet has a good root,
a hundred leaves will put forth their hands in the end..
It is the nature of the strong heart, that like the palm tree it strives ever upwards when it is most burdened. — Philip Sidney
The olive branch has been consecrated to peace, palm branches to victory, the laurel to conquest and poetry, the myrtle to love and pleasure, the cypress to mourning, and the willow to despondency. — Dorothea Dix
COMMENTARY on Palm Sunday & Hosanna!
We think of “Hosanna” as a shout of praise, but the basic meaning of this Hebrew word is “Help!” It is an SOS cry. That appears to be the way the first Palm Sunday crowd used it. Having heard of Jesus’ ability to feed an army with a school boy’s lunch and His recent accomplishment of bringing a dead Lazarus back to life, they were convinced He was a candidate for the monarchy. “Jesus, Help! Expel our hated Roman rulers. You be our King!” How disappointed they were when Jesus, after riding into the capitol city on the wave of the crowd’s enthusiasm, merely looked around and walked back out. — Merwin VanDoornik
Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan argue that two processions entered Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday two thousand years ago; Jesus’s was not the only Triumphal Entry. Every year during Passover — the Jewish festival that swelled Jerusalem’s population from its usual 50,000 to at least 200,000 — the Roman governor of Judea would ride up to Jerusalem from his coastal residence in the west. He would come in all of his imperial majesty to remind the Jewish pilgrims that Rome demanded their complete loyalty, obedience, and submission. The Jewish people could commemorate their ancient victory against Egypt and slavery if they wanted to. But if they tried any real time resistance, they would be obliterated without a second thought. As Pilate clanged and crashed his imperial way into Jerusalem from the west, Jesus approached from the east, looking (by contrast) ragtag and absurd. Unlike the Roman emperor and his legions, who ruled by force, coercion, and terror, Jesus came defenseless and weaponless into his kingship. Riding on a donkey, he all but cried aloud the bottom-line truth that his rule would have nothing to recommend it but love, humility, long-suffering, and sacrifice. — Debie Thomas
And so there were two groups on that first Palm Sunday. There were the religious fanatics who said, “Jesus, give me a miracle and then I will believe.” And then there were the political fanatics who said, “Restore our freedom and get rid of the Romans.” Both groups chanted, “Hosanna to the Son of David. Hosanna to the Son of David. The king of Israel has come.” And that is the way it was. It was a carnival. It was a circus. It was revolution on the move. What was Jesus doing? What was Jesus doing with this mass of humanity around him? What was Jesus doing in the midst of this psychedelic kaleidoscope of madness? Was he standing up on the back seat of his chariot and waving to the crowd like some politician? Was he riding on that chariot with arms upward and outward and his fingers spiking a “V” sign for victory? Was he waving at all those people in their second story windows as they were throwing confetti on him? Was he pumping them up with political oratory to get the political revolution moving? No. Here in this cacophony of craziness, Jesus didn’t say a word. He rode in silence. Silence. — Edward Markqart
Hosanna— Jesus Christ Superstar (music by Andrew Lloyd Weber, lyrics by Tim Rice)
- Hosanna (film) scene (2000)
- Paramount Theater production (final stanza of song) Hosanna.
- Royal Albert Music production: Hosanna
Hey Sanna Sanna Sanna Hosanna
Hey Sanna Hosanna
Hey JC, JC, won’t you smile at me?
Sanna Hosanna hey Superstar
Tell the rabble to be quiet, we anticipate a riot
This common crowd is much too loud
Tell the mob who sing your song
That they are fools and they are wrong
They are a curse, they should disperseHosanna
Hey Sanna Sanna Sanna Hosanna
Hey Sanna Hosanna
Hey JC, JC, you’re alright by me
Sanna Hosanna hey SuperstarWhy waste your breath moaning at the crowd?
Nothing can be done to stop the shouting
If every tongue was still, the noise would still continue
The rocks and stones themselves would start to singHosanna
Hey Sanna Sanna Sanna Hosanna
Hey Sanna Hosanna
Hey JC, JC, won’t you fight for me?
Sanna Hosanna hey SuperstarSing me your songs
But not for me alone
Sing out for yourselves
For you are blessed
There is not one of you
Who can not win the kingdom
The slow, the suffering
The quick, the deadHosanna
Hey Sanna Sanna Sanna Hosanna
Hey Sanna Hosanna
Hey JC, JC won’t you die for me?
Sanna Hosanna hey Superstar
Joy is the serious business of Heaven. — C. S. Lewis
House of Joy — Rumi
If you knew yourself for even one moment,
if you could just glimpse
your most beautiful face,
maybe you wouldn’t slumber so deeply
in that house of clay.
Why not move into your house of joy
and shine into every crevice!
For you are the secret
Treasure-bearer, and always have been.
Didn’t you know?
3 Ways to Access Joy (excerpt) — Margarita Tartakovsky, Psychology Today
Being in a state of joy isn’t something you’re born with. It’s a learned skill …
- Revise your inner language: How we talk to ourselves can influence our mood and outlook on life. For instance, “shoulds” can easily sap our joy. If you’re constantly telling yourself all the different things you should be doing, you’re likely residing in a negative or unsatisfied space. … To stop “shoulding” all over yourself, first assess the situation. … replacing “should” with “could.” This seemingly small change is actually very powerful because “it’s all about choice.” It promotes self-kindness, flexibility and forgiveness. It promotes exploration rather than rigidity.
- Seek out laughter … make laughter part of your day, Altman suggests the following: Set an intention to have at least one laughter memory a day. He defines this as “any humorous event, thought or observation that stimulates positive mood states that are joyful, uplifting, heartwarming, energizing or euphoric.” Use a journal to jot down your laughter memories. Read it at the end of every week …
- Focusing your attention on your natural surroundings can instantly help you access joy.
Joy Vs Happiness (excerpt) — Sandra Brown, Psychology Today
Happiness is … dependent on outside situations, people, or events to align with your expectations so that the end result is your happiness … But happiness is not joy because joy is not external, it can’t be bought and it is not conditional on someone else’s behavior. In fact, joy is not contingent on anything in order to exist … When stuff, people, and the problems they bring fall away there is a stillness. Only in that stillness can we ever find the joy that resides inside of us, dependent on nothing external in order to exist. During this holiday season, this is a great concept to contemplate
… Joy comes when you make peace with who you are, where you are, why you are, and who you are not with. When you need nothing more than your truth and the love of a good God to bring peace, then you have settled into the abiding joy that is not rocked by relationships. It’s not rocked by anything.
Ordinary Joy (excerpt) — Alison Bonds Shapiro, Psychology Today
… How do we cultivate joy? Do we work very hard and compete at the greatest intensity that we can manage to win the grand prize? Will that bring us joy? We think that joy comes if we win the lottery or are chosen for a great honor. We think we have to wait to be famous to have joy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Great honors may bring us excitement, satisfaction and sometimes even happiness for a while. But joy comes from somewhere else. Joy arises in the ordinary moments of our lives. That’s where we experience joy and that is where we can cultivate it.
We can cultivate that joy by welcoming the small things. We can find the joy that lives and waits for us in our ordinary actions. When we slow down and allow our bodies to find some sense of ease and pay attention to each dish, we invite joy. We are not in the running for a grand prize and national recognition for our amazing capacity to wash forks. We are just washing this one fork.
When we do this we see, maybe for the first time in a long time, like a child might see, with wonder and delight …
Joy: Rooted in Gratitude and Other Perspectives
When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself. — Tecumseh
The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. — Christopher McCandless
Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. — William Arthur Ward
I believe that a trusting attitude and a patient attitude go hand in hand. You see, when you let go and learn to trust God, it releases joy in your life. And when you trust God, you’re able to be more patient. Patience is not just about waiting for something… it’s about how you wait, or your attitude while waiting. — Joyce Meyer
Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy. — Leo Buscaglia
The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life. — Richard Bach
Joy: State of Mind & Heart
Joy, feeling one’s own value, being appreciated and loved by others, feeling useful and capable of production are all factors of enormous value for the human soul. — Maria Montessori
If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive. — Eleonora Duse
We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves. — Buddha
Joy: Arising Amidst Challenge
The marvelous richness of human experience would lose something of rewarding joy if there were no limitations to overcome. The hilltop hour would not be half so wonderful if there were no dark valleys to traverse. — Helen Keller
When you’re in the day-to-day grind, it just seems like it’s another step along the way. But I find joy in the actual process, the journey, the work. It’s not the end. It’s not the end event. — Cal Ripken, Jr.
I spent a lot of years trying to outrun or outsmart vulnerability by making things certain and definite, black and white, good and bad. My inability to lean into the discomfort of vulnerability limited the fullness of those important experiences that are wrought with uncertainty: Love, belonging, trust, joy, and creativity to name a few. — Brene Brown
Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity. — Henri Nouwen
Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.— Rumi
For happiness one needs security, but joy can spring like a flower even from the cliffs of despair. — Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy. — Joseph Campbell
I write about the power of trying, because I want to be okay with failing. I write about generosity because I battle selfishness. I write about joy because I know sorrow. I write about faith because I almost lost mine, and I know what it is to be broken and in need of redemption. I write about gratitude because I am thankful – for all of it. — Kristin Armstrong
Joy: Sharing & Serving Others
Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life’s deepest joy: true fulfillment. — Tony Robbins
If you are a chef, no matter how good a chef you are, it’s not good cooking for yourself; the joy is in cooking for others – it’s the same with music. — will.i.am
Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served. But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy. — Mahatma Gandhi
My heart is singing for joy this morning! A miracle has happened! The light of understanding has shone upon my little pupil’s mind, and behold, all things are changed! — Anne Sullivan
Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give. — Eleanor Roosevelt
Joy (excerpt) — Carl Sandburg
Let a joy keep you.
Reach out your hands
And take it when it runs by …
Joy— Maurine Smith
Joy, joy, run over me
Like water over a shining stone;
And I beneath your sweet shall be
No longer hungry and alone.
The light at my heart’s gate is lit —
My love, my love is tending it!
Prayer for Joy
— Stuart Kestenbaum
What was it we wanted
to say anyhow, like today
when there were all the letters
in my alphabet soup and suddenly
the ‘j’ rises to the surface.
The ‘j’, a letter that might be
great for Scrabble, but not really
used for much else, unless
we need to jump for joy,
and then all of a sudden
it’s there and ready to
help us soar and to open up
our hearts at the same time,
this simple line with a curved bottom,
an upside down cane that helps
us walk in a new way into this
forest of language, where all the letters
are beginning to speak,
finding each other in just
the right combination
to be understood.
How do you place God — holy healing Love — first? How do you care for yourself? How do you care for your neighbor? How do you love the home — creation — in which you and your neighbor abide? How do you love the un-loveable?
What are the edges of how and who you love? What are the limits of how you allow yourself to be loved in return?
Fire of love, crazy over what You have made. Oh, divine Madman. — Prayer of Catherine Siena
O you who’ve gone on pilgrimage – where are you, where, oh where?
Here, here is the Beloved! Oh come now, come, oh come!
Your friend, he is your neighbor, he is next to your wall –
You, erring in the desert – what air of love is this?
If you’d see the Beloved’s form without any form –
You are the house, the master, You are the Kaaba, you! . . .
Where is a bunch of roses, if you would be this garden?
Where, one soul’s pearly essence when you’re the Sea of God?
That’s true – and yet your troubles may turn to treasures rich –
How sad that you yourself veil the treasure that is yours!
— Rumi ‘I Am Wind, You are Fire’
Translation by Annemarie Schimmel
Part of doing something is listening. We are listening. To the sun. To the stars. To the wind. ― Madeleine L’Engle, Swiftly Tilting Planet
human, your plight, in waking, is to choose from the words
that even now sleep on your tongue, and to know that tangled
among them and terribly new is the sentence that could change your life.
3 Questions for Discerning Your Calling
(excerpt)— Jordan Raynor, Relevant Magazine
… entrepreneurs and creatives … tended to ask three excellent questions when discerning God’s calling on their lives:
- What am I passionate about?
- What gifts has God given me?
- Where do I have the greatest opportunity to love others?
It’s these three questions which will help you discern where God has called you to expend your energies …