Out of the fifty-two weeks each year, we call this week “holy.” Without what happened during this week (Matthew 26:14-27:66), Christianity might have become just another branch of Judaism, and we might be still waiting for the Messiah. This week becomes holy for us in ways we do not expect. We may not want this, and it may be painful, but it is always important.
We cannot come to Palm Sunday and Holy Week as spectators. The point is not to observe history but to discover the many ways this story is about us. We, too, have lauded Jesus one day as the king of our lives and then proceed to live in ways that deny him and betray him. We are not to stand in judgment on the characters in this drama, but to see ourselves in them.
Let us stay in this week. Don’t deny your presence here or your part in what happened. Stay until the end. Then come close, and hear Jesus say the strange, improbable words, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Maybe Jesus prayed these words because he knew that what we thought we had done to him, we had actually done to ourselves.
Even this, however, is not the end of the drama of Holy Week. Do you like surprise endings? Then stay in the story.
- Deacon Robert
“In the life of the body, a man is sometimes sick, and unless he takes medicine, he will die. Even so in the spiritual life, a man is sick on account of sin. For that reason, he needs medicine so that he may be restored to health; and this grace is bestowed in the Sacrament of Penance.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas