Semana Santa: The Day of Questions

Dark. We cross the tracks. Workers stream onto the street as the train pulls out. The bus shakes as more people get on, their faces not yet formed for the day.

The hospital is a mezcla of faded victorian buildings, a cat colony, and a trauma zone; its workers' face-masks put us on edge. Queue like experts. We talk about times still too close, of miners' strikes and military ones.

The day arrives. Break-fast with icecream, coffee and medialunas.

I call home and read news online. There are questions about election results in Italy and a swan in Scotland, and siempre Iraq.

Another bus, this time to Palermo, lunch and conversation.

Classes begin. We discuss better ways of buying and selling across the world. We think about the unexpected success of fair trade. But how can we stop neo-liberalism and escape from its sacrifices, a student asks.

One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, "Which commandment is the first of all?"

Jesus answered, "The first is, "Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' The second is this, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."

Then the scribe said to him, "You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that "he is one, and besides him there is no other'; and "to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,' and "to love one's neighbor as oneself,' this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices."

When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." After that no one dared to ask him any question.

Mark 12.28-34