Some Thoughts about Holy Week

Each year the Church invites us to bring the heart-aches of our lives, our own personal broken dreams and moments of sorrow and pain to the Risen Christ. We relive the final days of the Savior in order to reinforce our conviction that resurrection always follows death, that victory always crowns our failures.

As we walk with Jesus through the incidents of Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday, we recoil again at the ugliness and horror of his rejection, betrayal, condemnation, passion and crucifixion. We study His courage, His struggle to bend His will to the Father's. We understand His agonizing sense of abandonment. We feel His hurt at the treachery of His friends, and ultimately His trusting embrace of the Cross - and the shameful death it promised - knowing that the love and power of His Father would sustain Him and carry Him through to the triumph of Resurrection and New Life.

We all need the experience of Passion Sunday, Holy Week, The Triduum and Easter to renew our faith and our hope, to reassure us that the love and power of our Father will not allow evil, sin and death to destroy us. We must not give in to despair; we cannot give up. The Risen Christ is our hope, and the guarantee of our ultimate victory. 

In many ways, the world is waiting and watching. The Christian way of life, from the first Easter Sunday until today, continues to offer renewed vision and hope to the human family. Those who do not share this faith know what it claims and what it promises. They hear the Gospel of peace, of social justice, of reconciliation, of compassion. They know that these values could and should dramatically change the quality of human life all over the globe. But then they look around - and see so much hate and poverty and crime and suffering.... so much injustice and death...and they wonder....

We can make the truth of the Resurrection real. But we can only do this if we draw near to Jesus in a special way during this sacred time. We have to make time for prayer, for Liturgy, for the sacramental encounters that will allow these timeless mysteries to touch us, heal us, and renew us. These are days when the entire Community is called to be present - when we should make every effort to put other things aside to share in the Liturgical celebrations of these events.

We can make the Resurrection real.  we are called to "love differently and radically."  Religion should open our hearts, not close our minds to the world around us. 

The experience of our Holy Week should be profound for each of us individually and for our community. We want, especially during these sacred days, to pour ourselves out, to be humble, obedient servants of God, so that we, like Jesus, will exalted, lifted up, and deserve the name "faithful Christian."

It is Christ our Savior who enables us to do this. So we join Him in mind and spirit on Passion Sunday, enter Jerusalem with Him, proclaiming Jesus Christ Is Lord!

We will come to be with Him on Holy Thursday, learn again the meaning of Christian service through His washing of His disciples feet, recognize Him in the breaking of the Bread, and proclaim: Jesus Christ Is Lord!

We will come to be with Him on Good Friday, watch with Him in the Garden, share His pain and shame on Calvary, watch Him die - and proclaim: Jesus Christ Is Lord! 

And we will recognize ourselves:  asleep in the Garden, fleeing in fear and abandoning Him at the foot of the Cross - and yet continue to proclaim:  Jesus Christ is Lord!

And finally we will come to be with Him at the Easter Vigil or on Easter Sunday, see again the mystery of the Resurrection with the eyes of faith, and rise ourselves with Him to new holiness of life and love, as we proclaim Jesus Christ Is Lord!