Sunday, March 29, 2009

From Tragedy to Triumph

This is a reflection on Holy Week from several years ago.

Holy Week is different than other weeks during the year, or it ought to be. This is our annual commemoration of the most significant events in Salvation History. During Holy Week we move from triumph (Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem) to tragedy (The Passion) and from tragedy (Jesus’ death) to triumph (His resurrection), with many moments in-between.

Holy Week is about movement in time and space. This most sacred week in the life of the Church is a gift given to us each year as we are permitted to experience once again the life-giving death and glorious resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Church invites us to go back in time to the center-point of all human history, the “Place of the Skull” and to see the Cross as a moment in time which changed eternity.

The Church also asks us to see the death and resurrection of Jesus re-presented under sacramental signs of bread and wine in the Sacrifice of the Mass. Each time we are present at Mass, we are present at Calvary. The Sacred Host and Precious Blood we receive are His Body and Blood, given and poured out for us upon the Cross.

Finally, on Easter, especially at the Vigil, we are plunged into the mystery of darkness and light, death giving way to new life, time being replaced by eternity. It is our common celebration of our individual baptisms which joins us together as one in Jesus Himself.

How will you make this week holy for yourself? What will you do to remind yourself of the great events this week celebrates? Plan to attend your parish celebrations during Holy Week; go to as many as you can. Make the sacrifice of time and you will experience eternity.