Calvary Episcopal Church

Memphis, Tennessee
The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday
April 8, 2001
Volume 46, No.14

What Does He See??
I am learning about Christus auf Palmesel ("Christ on a Palm Donkey") from reading Henri Nouwen's Show Me the Way, Daily Readings for Lent, which I've been using this Lenten season. From Nouwen's perspective, this 14th century sculpture in the Augustiner Museum in Freilburg, Germany, is one of the most moving and magnetic Christ figures he ever experienced.

The sculpture depicts Christ's face as long and slender, a high forehead, long hair, a small beard. But it is his eyes that grip you. This sculpture was made to be pulled on a cart for the city's Palm Sunday procession. Christ's eyes seem to concentrate on something beyond. He does not look at the crowd. Or the city. Or the road ahead. His eyes are focused on the horizon.

What does he see? Does he see betrayal and denial? Does he see his cross, the death penalty instrument? Does he see the paradox of his own God-forsakenness and his trust into Holy hands?

Does this "Christ on a Palm Donkey," look far on the horizon and see you and me? Does he see my (our) denials? Does he see our hunger for forgiveness? Our thirst for sacred companionship? Does he see our brave attempts to make a difference with our life and our faith? From his sacred journey does he see us on our daily journey?

What does "Christ on the Palm Donkey" see? What is it you would hope for him to see of you in this holiest of weeks? Blessed Holy Week to you!
~ Doug Bailey

Copyright ©1999-2006