During Holy Week we are called to walk with Jesus. To walk in His footsteps on the journey He took during the sacrifice He made for us. We are called to be by His side, to recognize what He endured for our sake. To see His passion and death through His eyes and His immense Love for us. It's a week filled with special masses, prayers, sacred traditions, sacrifices, etc. It's special and it's spiritual, but it's primary benefit is to grow closer to Christ and be transformed by His grace.
We have spent the previous weeks of Lent reflecting within, trying to change, looking at ourselves. Now, this week, it's time to look at Jesus. To focus our attention on Him. We don't just read about His passion and death this week, we enter into it. Today, He enters Jerusalem, and we go with Him.
"The very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and strewed them on the road. The crowds preceding him and those following kept crying out saying: 'Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; hosanna in the highest.' And when he entered Jerusalem the whole city was shaken and asked 'Who is this?' And the crowds replied, 'This is Jesus the prophet, from Nazareth in Galilee." (Matthew 21: 8-11)
The people are very excited to see Jesus. They heard all these awesome stories about Him, how He heals the sick and performs miracles, how He speaks powerful words of life and love and forgiveness ... and now He's here, right in front of them. He is greeted so passionately and is praised and loved by the people. We are these people. We put ourselves there this week, at every step.
Today we shout "Hosanna!" Friday we will shout "Crucify Him". The beauty of it all - Christ already knows this. Jesus enters Jerusalem amidst the shouts of honor and praise knowing these same people will turn on Him and scream for His death in a few days ... and He loves us anyway. He dies for us anyway. He knows how fickle our humanity is, He knows how weak we really are, how selfish we really are, He knows we won't always appreciate the sacrifice He's about to make for us, and He makes it anyway. God Loves us. And this week, He proves it!
So let's reflect today on how often we turn on Christ too. How often are we "Christian" when things are going well but abandon Christ when things don't go our way? As long as we see the miracles and answered prayers we Praise Him, but if not?? How strong is our faith really? When the cross comes into our lives, what do we do?
We all have an opportunity to grow in our faith this week. Let's look at Holy Week in a New Light. Let's see ourselves among the people and ask ourselves the really deep questions our hearts long to have answered. Let's grow in love and faith. When we enter into Holy Week with our whole heart, we enter into Christ's passion and death, and in the process of appreciating Him, find amazing graces for ourselves. Above all, we find His Love for us.
May God Bless you with special graces this Holy Week, and always.