The Holiest of All Weeks
We are now in Holy Week – the holiest of all weeks in the Church’s year, and we begin it by recalling Our Lord’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Later in the week we will be with Him as He institutes the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Priesthood on Maundy Thursday. We will also be with Him as He sweats blood during His agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, His arrest and trial, the scourging and crowning with thorns, and the terrible journey on the Via Dolorosa which will culminate in His suffering and dying on the cross on Good Friday. The Sacred Liturgy makes all these events present to us.
But today (Palm Sunday), while on the one hand we are joyous as Our Lord enters Jerusalem and the people hail Him as the Messiah and Redeemer, we will also be sad as we read the Passion where He is rejected and put to death. This is the paradox, because what seems to be Our Lord’s defeat is actually His victory. His love conquers death. He proved to us beyond any doubt that God’s love for us has no limits, and by His obedience to the Father, the disobedience of Adam is reversed, and by His paying the price of our sins which was the cause of His suffering, our friendship with God is restored, and the gates of Heaven are once again open to us. So we have great joy even amidst the greatest of sorrows.
JESUS wants to come into your heart this Holy Week. On Palm Sunday He entered Jerusalem on a donkey. This week He wants to enter your heart in the Sacred Liturgy which makes all these events present to us. So let’s strive to make this Holy Week really different from other weeks, by turning off the TV, our computers and mobile phones more than usual. Let’s give something extra to God and make the effort to attend the Holy Week ceremonies which are both solemn and moving as we live through these events of our Redemption. And why not bring someone else with you? Perhaps someone who is searching for God or someone who has been away from the Church for a long time? Your invitation could be the gentle prod they need. You could be the means God wishes to use to either help them find Him or return to Him. I wish you all a very blessed and spiritually fruitful Holy Week.
Fr Paul Gillham, IC