As we enter into Holy Week, I find myself thinking about just how busy this time of year gets for people in the parish. Starting with Palm Sunday and ending with the Triduum (Latin for “three days”) of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, this time in the life of the Church can be so busy that sometimes it feels like anything but holy. Yet when we remember why we even celebrate this week, it draws us back into the mystery of God’s saving love for us.
Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem, where people proclaimed him as the Messiah and celebrated his arrival, marks the beginning of a bittersweet time. We know that this praise and celebration would soon turn into betrayal, abandonment, and suffering.
Jesus’ celebration of the Passover marks the first Eucharistic celebration and the commission to serve others. But this celebration soon turns into his Last Supper before he is betrayed by one of his closest friends and abandoned by the others.
On Good Friday someone might wonder why we call it “good” when Jesus died such a horrible death. Even the liturgy that day seems so depressing.
As they day begins on Holy Saturday something feels like it’s missing. But then after sunset that feeling changes into something wonderful: the celebration of a new life and the excitement that comes with it. It’s not just for us, but also for the neophytes, the ones who are baptized, confirmed, and receive their First Holy Communion at the Easter Vigil.
As we journey through Holy Week, what are the parallels that you find between Jesus’ life and yours? How can we identify different parts of our lives with the final week of Jesus before his Resurrection? Sure, this might be a busy week for some of you. But when you get through the busyness and all the stress that comes with it, what new life will eventually come forth from it and how does it help us grow closer to God? That’s why this week is holy. God can take our pain and bring us to a new life.
Fr. Raymond Marquez
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