In a couple of days, it will be Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week for many Christian churches throughout the world. It is a week of preparation, of intensifying our prayer life, of focusing our minds on what we are commemorating this week and following weekend. We call to mind that on Good Friday, Jesus Christ willingly suffered and died on the Cross, so that all of us may be freed from the chains of sin. We remember that on Easter morn, Jesus rose from dead, and by that event, we all have been promised eternal life, death no longer has hold of us.
This is what Holy Week should mean for us, but in reality does it? In our country, the marketplace has completely skipped over Good Friday, straight into Easter. Displays of bright colored clothing, Easter eggs, every possible sweet, crowd the store shelves. For many families, plans are going forward for gatherings for Easter Sunday dinners. Now these things are not bad in and of themselves. But we cannot forget what this passing season of Lent was for; what holy period of time we are now entering.
Now, I will be the first to admit, that my own Lenten experience has not been as intense, as focused as I wished it to be when the season started. But in these final days leading up to the Holy Triduum, can I; can all of us make a last intensive push to be ready spiritually for this coming week? Let’s give it “the old college try,” shall we?
I know I have been writing as much in the blog, as I should be. That being said, I going to try writing a post in thirty minutes, at least every other day. Let’s see what path that leads me down. Blessings to you all!
Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday, during which we commerate our Lord Jesus Christ’s triumph entrance into Jerusalem. However, in many Christian churches, the gospel reading is the Passion of Jesus Christ, the story of his crucifixion and death. From crowds calling out “Hosanna!” at his coming; are yelling “Crucify him!” as he is dragged out of the city, to Golgotha.
On this holy, solemn day; we have heard of the two bombing attacks against Egyptian Coptic Christians; we have seen the video of the explosions, and glimpsed the wounded and the dead. They have shared intimately in the suffering of Christ; may our Lord Jesus heal the wounded; may our Risen Lord bring the dead into the peace of heaven.
But you, O Lord, be not far from me; O my help, hasten to aid me. – Psalm 22
Yesterday, March 29, 2015, Passion (Palm) Sunday, I began my third Holy Week as an ordained Deacon. I assisted at Mass at two of the three parishes that make up the Beverly Catholic Collaborative. At the beginning of each Mass, there was the blessing of the palms, followed by my proclaiming the Gospel reading according to Mark; of Jesus’ triumphant entrance into the city of Jerusalem. Crowds gathered around Him, shaking palm branches, and yelling out “Hosanna,” and proclaiming that the Kingdom of David was at hand. Yet, during that same liturgy, we would hear the Passion of Jesus Christ according to Matthew; during which the crowds are now yelling out, “Crucify Him!”
The five weeks of Lent were meant to be a time to prepare for this Holy Week, for in many ways, this week will be the most challenging of the Church’s liturgical year. We are to recall the events that lead to the Crucifixion of Jesus, and to His Resurrection. We are being challenged to reflect more deeply and personally on what those events mean to our world, our Church and for ourselves personally. We are being summoned to; if just for this week, live a life of intensive prayer and meditation. We are being challenged to open our minds, our hearts and our souls to the presence of our Resurrected Savior, and be willing to be transformed by Him; transformed into bearers of the Good News. Evangelizers, by word and deed; to let others know of the love and mercy of our God!