This Sunday begins our Holy Week! Holy Week is really seven days of readings, worship and intense prayer that really focus on the Pascal Mystery of what Jesus, God’s Son, has done for us. I like to think of is as taking the magnifying lens of our Catholic Christian Faith and really looking caring at what God has done! These 7 holy days (in a sense) are patterned after the Jewish Feast of Passover, a 7 day Feast of Unleavened Bread where various meals and prayers are said in celebration of Israel’s freedom from slavery in Egypt and exodus into the “promised land,’ a land God had initially granted to Abraham and his descendants (the current land of Israel) as part of his Old Testament Covenant.
For us as Christians, we look to Jesus as the new Moses who frees us from the slavery of sin and leads us to the “Promised Land” of eternal life! Here, He establishes a new and unending Covenant in his own blood. During Holy Week, then, we walk with our Lord through his passion, death and resurrection on the cross. We walk with him from Palm Sunday on toward Holy Thursday, through Good Friday and to our Easter Sunday of new life! We call this the Sacred Triduum, or Sacred Three Days (ie. Holy Thursday thru Easter Sunday).
There is an old native American (Cherokee) proverb that basically goes like this: “Only when you walk with someone do you get to know them.” This is exactly how we come to know and understand Jesus! So, I encourage everyone to walk with Jesus this Holy Week and be part of our celebrations. Let us (together) die and rise with our Lord!