Within the Christian experience, we’re now immersed in the intensity of ‘holy week’. There are so many themes running through it that it is almost overwhelming listening to all that unfolded in the life of Jesus in just one week.
And as I have pondered all those biblical stories, I recognize they are also our stories.
Who among us has not experienced a celebration and affirmation of our accomplishments perhaps through our work or education, or volunteering opportunities? Each of us knows the exhilaration of praise and acknowledgment that the Palm Sunday liturgy contains. And like Jesus, all too quickly we can be seen in disfavor by people in authority or the very people we have invited into a new way of thinking and relating to the one called God.
Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday is to sit with those we love and celebrate a meal together. How often have we invited or been invited to share a meal with family and friends? How often have we looked around the table and gazed lovingly at these people? And often I hear stories from parents about the betrayal of their children and the stories of children needing to ‘get away’ from parents whose values are not consistent with who they want to be. And I hear stories of friends needing to leave friends to find those more compatible with who they have become. These are our stories of Holy Thursday in 2016.
Like Jesus, we too seek nature to restore our souls. In the wilderness we find a level of connection born of silence, of the earth from which all is made. In that space of intimacy we too grapple with who we are and who we need to become. We too learn to yield to a God whose name is as personal as the relationship we have been called into.
Good Friday can only be called that once we have come through the multitudes of deaths our lives have encountered. Some like Mary of Nazareth have sat with loved ones watching every drop of blood flow from their bodies. Some have watched as a loved one is executed for a crime s/he may have been judged to commit. Some have felt agony so deep they too cry out ‘why, why have you abandoned me’!
Is it any wonder that we need Holy Saturday? We need time to sit in silence and solitude to absorb all our life has held. All that being in relationship with others and with God has demanded.
It is indeed a ‘holy week’ because the very life of Jesus is our life too. I hope you will find time to journey through this week and discover anew who you are, who God is and how your life journey continues to be a holy one.