Pastor’s Column March 24, 2013
Holy Week is upon us. In celebrating Palm Sunday the passion of Christ is proclaimed. On this Sunday, we begin Mass in the back of church to bless the palms. Remember that Jesus rides into Jerusalem today on a donkey, the foal of an ass. The people all believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God… God Himself. They cry out “Hosanna in the highest, blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord.” The city is filled with excitement that will ultimately fade away as opposition will grow from the Scribes and Pharisees. Jesus reveals to us a God who could have come to us as a great King, sitting behind the walls of the castle, lording it over us. Rather, Jesus shows us to be a friend who wants to walk with us, one who journey’s with us. Jesus wants to help us, heal us, to fill us with His love. Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve.
On Holy Thursday, Jesus will gather the disciples together in the upper room and share a sacrificial meal with them. It will be the Last Supper, the first Holy Mass where Jesus will give to us the greatest gift of all, the Holy Eucharist, the bread and wine turned into His Body and Blood.
On Good Friday, Jesus will agonize in the garden of Gethsemane. He will be taken by His enemies, condemned to death. He will be scourged, mocked, spit upon, beaten, broken, crowned with thorns. He will carry his cross up Calvary, be nailed to it, and ultimately die, breaking the bonds of sin we all suffer from, offering to all the gift of eternal life.
On Holy Saturday, Jesus’ dead body will be laid in the tomb, the one given by Joseph of Arimathea. Our Blessed Mother is perhaps the only one that in deep faith knows that Jesus will rise from the dead, but still feels the devastating loss of her Son. The apostles and disciples are scattered and afraid. They do not know what to do. They go into hiding afraid that they will be next.
And of course, Easter Sunday we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. This is the focal point of our faith. Without the resurrection, our faith has no meaning. Jesus rises from the dead revealing to us the life to come for those who persevere to the end with Him. Joy and peace we now feel basking in Jesus’ resurrection.
Holy Week is the pinnacle of our faith expressed through these beautiful liturgies. I would like to encourage everyone to come to all of these liturgies. This can better help us on our path to understanding our faith more deeply. To the significance and impact it should and does have on each of us lived out in our daily lives. What is more important than our faith? What’s more important than friendship with God? It has eternal consequences. I hope you are able to come and worship our Lord with us this Holy Week.
Peace, Fr. Tom