A Reflection for Holy Week by Sister Agnesine Seluzicki, MHSH
Holy Week is the most sacred time in the Church year. It is the week in which we celebrate the paschal mystery of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus.
Beginning with Palm Sunday and its exultant hosannas, it propels us into the very heart of God as it reveals a love that, in the celebration of a Passover meal, will give of its life and, its “Do this in remembrance of me,” makes itself available to all generations.
In this week, the mystery and paradox of life and death escalate to reveal the depths of darkness that can emanate from the human heart as the hosannas of Palm Sunday are replaced with equal intensity, in demanding cries of “Crucify him.” And yet, even as with bowed head Jesus gives up his spirit, a new life is born. Jesus lives.
Jesus lives. Even as we join Jesus in a profound remembering of his passion and death, the invitation is to walk with Jesus this week in a spirit of resurrection joy and hope. Holy Week is best spent simply being at the side of Jesus as the past events of his last days are unfolded in rituals that make these events break through time and space and become a dynamic and vibrant present.
As you join Jesus in this his 2014 reminiscing, stand by him as his heart is moved by the populace that greets him with branches of palms and hosannas. Be with him in the supper room as he rises from washing the feet of his disciples. Hear him as he reminds his disciples to follow his law of love. See the hurt in his eyes at the betrayal of Judas, the denial of Peter and the cowardice of his disciples.
Listen to the joyful note of redemptive hope affirmed as he turns to the criminal on the cross and promises, “Today, you will be with me in paradise….”
If there are tears to be shed, may they be those saturated with the balm of gratitude. The power of sin and death has been overcome. Jesus lives. The earth quakes, the dead rise, and through the ages the acclaim of the centurion echoes: “Truly, this was the Son of God!”