This is Holy Week, the Great Week, the Week when we are called to that privileged position of journeying with Jesus in his final days, through the triumphant entry into Jerusalem to the agony in the Garden and finally the death of Jesus of the Cross of Calvary. This isn’t an easy week, it’s a time of emotion and drama, of great hardship and suffering, a week when we are called to put our normal lives on hold, and truly enter into the heart of the mysteries of our faith.
Although we can’t celebrate the liturgies as we usually would, in church as a community around the priest, we can still be united in prayer. The Pope has asked parish priest to publish the times of the Masses and Services of Holy Week, so that congregations can join in a spiritual union with their priests at the same time, although separated by distance. Also in this newsletter are details of some of the on-line resources, including live-streaming of Masses and Services, which we might use as a focus of our prayer. Let’s keep this Great Week truly holy!
On Palm Sunday we see the Kingship of Jesus misunderstood, as he is feted whilst entering Jerusalem, but thought as one who will reject the conquering Romans and set the Chosen People free from their earthly masters.
On Thursday Jesus shows God’s love by washing the feet of his disciples, but again he is misunderstood: ‘Lord, you shall never wash my feet’. As Jesus instituted the Eucharist his love was given a tangible and permanent presence here among us.
On Friday the drama reaches its crescendo as the depths of God’s love for us are demonstrated on the Cross. Whilst others fall asleep or flee, call for Jesus to be crucified or spit upon him, will we be faithful, standing with Mary and with John at the foot of the Cross?
Through Friday evening and Saturday and into the night we experience the stillness of the tomb, the emptiness of a world without Jesus. Our church is barren, the tabernacle empty, only the Cross shows us what has happened, what is to come.
And then, very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, we journey to the tomb to find . . . .