This is Holy Week, an important time of the liturgical year for Christians, mostly because the word “holy” is right there and one must take all things holy very seriously and with the utmost respect. And I totally would: if it wasn’t for the fact that this coincides with my children’s Spring Break and their favorite activity thus far has been “keep mommy from having an intelligent thought during the day and make her too exhausted to think at night.” Here is the short version of what happened 2,000 years ago, between Christ’s warm welcome in Jerusalem up to his resurrection on the day you eat the ears off your chocolate bunny.
Okay, sit down, grab some popping corn, and get ready for one of the most fucked up stories to appear in the Bible. Enjoy!
Jesus heard the Pharisees were throwing shade at him (aka disrespectin’) by claiming that Jesus was baptizing more people than John. Jesus, not liking the lies the Pharisees were telling about him, decided to go back to Galilee to tell the Pharisees to step off. In going back to Galilee, Jesus and his disciples had to pass through Samaria, an territory with people that Jews were not supposed to fraternize with. The Jews did not like that the Samaritans at one point intermarried with Assyrians, which I guess would make this sort of like the Jets and Sharks of the ancient Middle East but without the feistiness of Rita Moreno. Anyway, Jesus came to the town Sychar in Samaria and found a woman alone at the well.
The Hajj, or Muslims’ annual pilgrimage to Mecca, is happening now (October 13-18). Some of you may be wondering what exactly is the Hajj. Let’s start with the basics. Islam has 5 pillars of faith:
1) There is no God but God.
2) Pray 5 times a day towards Mecca.
3) Fasting during Ramadan.
4) Giving to charity.
5) Make a pilgrimage to Mecca (if one is physically and financially able to do so)
So we all know about Buddha and my hope is that you have seen a statue of him somewhere other than a Chinese restaurant. And while they may have different features depending on the region of the worshipper who made the statue, the original Buddha, Shakyamuni, is the one who helped spread the idea of Enlightenment.
The Shakyamuni Buddha was born Siddhartha Gautama, a prince in what is now India. Some men told the king that his son would become a really important person, someone who will go on to help others. Siddhartha’s dad replied with a “Fuck that. He is going to be a great leader and I am going to give him everything his ruling heart desires. Oh, and I will shelter him from pain in the world so that he doesn’t see any of the bad things.” And the king did just that. Siddhartha had multiple palaces and had a little hottie with a body for a wife. They even had a son. The king, by some accounts, would even send guards out ahead of the prince to get the unwanted people (old, poor, sick, dying) off the streets before the prince ventured out so that Siddhartha wouldn’t realize that people where suffering. (Foreshadow alert!)
(I call this a story and not the story of Ganesha because there are many versions. This one is the most popular.)
(This is a new segment of my blog where I talk about tales from scripture or legends in an overly casual way. That’s just how I roll.)
Simon invited Jesus to his house for a dinner with some other guests. Simon was a Pharisee, a leader in the temple and someone who probably didn’t believe that Jesus was the Messiah. Anyway, Simon brings Jesus to his house but not in a cool “Hey, let’s hang out. I’ll have my servants cook, we can chat. You know, whatevs” But what Simon was really thinking was, “Yeah, come over and let me and my friends laugh at you. You think you are so hot going around here preaching to our people. I will put you in your place.”