With the celebration of Palm Sunday, we have entered Holy Week. It is not that the other 51 weeks of the year are not holy, but rather, it means that something very different and special happens this week. This week, we celebrate the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
Holy Week is really a love story. It is the story of God’s love for us. We start by remembering Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. As the week unfolds, we remember the Last Supper on Holy Thursday. On Good Friday we reflect on Jesus’ trial, crucifixion, and death. On Saturday we are left to reflect on how and why Jesus died. And then on Easter morning, we join the angels and saints in proclaiming Jesus’ defeat of death and His breaking the bonds of the tomb. The story is all about how God reveals His most intimate secret, that is, that God is deeply in love with us.
Most of us have lived through many Holy Week celebrations. I, for one, have lived through 68 of them. Some of them have been beautiful and intimate. Others Holy Weeks have been a series of ceremonies and sacrifices.
I want this year to be different for me and for us all. After all, this past year has been different-very different-so why shouldn’t Holy Week be unique. I want to understand more this year. I want to feel more and reflect on a deeper level. I want to truly enter this week knowing the pain of death and the joy of new life.
Covid-19 has been a cross for us all. We have lost loved ones, lost our daily routines, and have felt like we were losing our sanity. Our political system, our religious practices, and our family traditions have been thrown out the window. We cannot see each other’s faces any more and we certainly are not supposed to touch and hug each other. And, yet, through all of this, we have not lost hope. We continue to believe that our second shot of vaccine will make us whole. We continue to trust that someone bigger than us is in control of this whole mess.
We have had a year long Holy Week. And, the truth is, it will have the same outcome every other Holy Week has ever had. Through the pain, suffering, and death, God will indeed bring new life. The God who was intimately and madly in love with us at the time of Jesus, still is, and He promises resurrection and hope for us all.
Enter this week with prayer. Give God some one-on-one time. Take some quiet walks…listen to Christian music…read your Bibles. But most important of all, open your heart to God’s amazing, intimate, and unconditional love. If we can do that, it will be the best Holy Week of our lives.