Every year I look forward to the unique and special week that is Holy week. It is always a week that was remarkably different from all the other weeks and it is always a week the "wakes up" my faith. Growing up, and still now, I was always interested in the Mass and the different actions of the priest. To see such differences during Holy Week and the different vestments that the priest wore, really caught my interest and something that I looked forward to.
This weekend we begin this unique week. We begin the week that saved us from our sin and brought to us forgiveness, salvation, and the love of God. Beginning the the magnificent entrance into Jerusalem we embark on a special journey with Christ. We live the experience- not as a historical re-enactment- but as a sign of faith and remembrance. We walk as Christ walked, we go where Christ went so that we can increase our faith and become closer with him. We begin this weekend by starting in a different location and then make the procession into the church- marking Christs entrance into Jerusalem.
We enter into a week with many mixed emotions. We begin with today, praising the Lord and hailing him as he enters into the eternal city. But soon, very soon, we turn against him and we shout with passion that this same man shall be crucified. Not because he did something wrong, but because he was not the man we envisioned him to be. He was not the great prince who came to start a revolution against the government, but rather a man who came with a simple message- mercy, forgiveness and love.
This weekend we hear the Passion of Christ read from the Gospel of Luke. During this reading we hear the love Christ had for life and the people in it. He sweat drops of blood at the thought of losing his life, he healed ears that were severed , forgave those who crucified him, promised life to the robber, and spoke nothing against anyone. Christ loved life and was scared to lose it, but he spent, especially his final hours, using it help others and accepting the will of God.
I think we all love life- we love friends, family, and we can enjoy life. Many opportunities and experiences define life for us and they make it enjoyable. However, as proven throughout Christs ministry on earth and his final hours, the true happiness and fulfillment of life is a twofold action: living it helping others, and living it accepting the will of God.
While he prayed at the Mount of Olives, Christ was sweating tears of blood. He knew exactly what faced him in his near future and he was scared. Christ prayed that he might not go through this- he asked that this pain might not come upon him. But at the end of his prayer, he accepts that his suffering and death is part of Gods greater plan. He accepts that it is through him the sins of the world will be placed upon and forgiven- but to do so he must endure physical pain.
Through this special week, in which Christ triumphed death and passed over into new ever-lasting life, we can see the fathers love poured out. This week is a love-story reaching its climax, the most important and exciting part, in which the most crucial actions shall be completed. Through out this week we will walk with Christ to the cross and be there every step of the way. We begin that walk today. A walk where we experience events out of the ordinary, events that catch out attention. These Masses and events that take place reveal in the most perfect way Christs ultimate love for us, so that we may be one, with him.
Let us join with people shouting, " Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"
We welcome the Lord Jesus into the Eternal city of Jerusalem!
We welcome the Lord Jesus into our hearts as he makes his triumphant entrance. As we journey through this week, we must choose if we turn our cheer into one of sentencing and death or keep with him, even when times are tough.