Our visiting priest commented on Sunday “I will be in Dallas for the marathon’. People chuckled knowing that he was talking about the services for Holy Week, which are both physically and emotionally charged for priests and parishioners alike.
These days are filled with intimacy at a ‘Passover meal’ with the betrayal of one of the disciples. It is filled with the depth of prayer of Jesus in the Garden surrounded by the inability of his disciples to be present with him. It is filled with the confusion of why people were wanting Jesus dead and disciples denying their relationship with him. It is filled with accusations and silences, with death by crucifixion and faithful presence by a mother and other women with her.
Each year I find myself asking: how did one man endure so much? The prophet Isaiah wrote “Morning after morning he opens my ear that I may hear; and I have not rebelled, have not turned back.’ (50:6) In that one line seems to be the answer to my question of ‘how’. The endurance of Jesus in his last moments is a reflection and culmination of all the moments in his life. He was faithful to his belief in the One whom he called Abba (father). He listened each day and lived each day out of the Source of that attentiveness. He did not rebel nor turn back. Rather he set his face like flint each day to the tasks of the day.
A ‘holy week’ – time to realign ourselves with the faith we process. Time to remember the calling we celebrate each morning as we too ‘listen’. Like Jesus we have received the ability to listen, to be present and responsive. This ‘holy week’ invites us to be whole in each moment through all the confusions, betrayals, denials and gifts of others to us.
Walk gently this week – aware of the dignity of each person you encounter and let this week surround you with a loving embrace of One who has called you to be holy.