By Deacon Mathew
We have been partaking in a journey of repentance, fasting, and reflection over the last several weeks of Lent. This journey will come to an end next Sunday with celebration of Our Lord’s Resurrection. The church describes the events leading up to Jesus’ death on Good Friday as the “Passion of Christ”. The fact that we turn to the Passion story three times during Holy Week illustrates the fundamental nature of “Passion” in our faith life. The word “passion” is derived from the Latin word passio, meaning suffering. Thus, the Passion describes the afflictions Christ endured for our sins which lead to his death on the cross. In our regular use of this word, the word “passion” connotes a feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something. This context is also applicable as our Lord was not a passive victim, taken by surprise and forced to endure a horrific death. Rather, Jesus whole-hardheartedly submitted to the Father, “Not my will, but yours be done” and chose to drink the cup of suffering. This is a sign of God’s passionate love for his people. Even though we turned away from God in sin and have a debt to pay for it, God’s passionate love drove him to become one of us and pay that debt on our behalf, dying us so that we could be reunited with him.
Palm Sunday helps us to retrace the beginning of the peak of salvation history. We call it the beginning of Holy week when the prophecies are being fulfilled and the Church prepares for the climax of the liturgical year. Jesus goes up to Jerusalem at THIS TIME because he realized that IT IS TIME for Him to fulfill the Scriptures. Zach 9:9 says, “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘See, your King comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey’.” Jesus enters Jerusalem on a donkey – a sign of peace and meekness. And people shouted “Hosanna means Please Save Us”
Holy Thursday, the day before our Lord’s crucifixion, Jesus celebrated Passover with his disciples after washing their feet as a sign of humility and love. Most importantly, during the last supper, Jesus instituted the “Eucharist” which He asked us to do ‘in remembrance’ of Him.
Good Friday is the day we remember the crucifixion and death of our Lord. It is called “good” because it is part of God’s plan for our salvation. God’s good plan to redeem us from sin included the suffering and death of Jesus.
Easter Sunday is the most important day in Christian history. Three days after His death, we celebrate the resurrection. Jesus rose again, conquering death. Through Jesus, we have the opportunity to have eternal forgiveness for our sins, relationship with God, and eternity in heaven. So, let us thank and praise God for his love in saving us.
In John 11: 25 Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies”.
We have so much to be grateful for this week. Let us ask for the grace to enter fully into this Holy Mystery, into the true meaning of what this Holy Week means.
Holy Week Schedule at Holy Rosary Parish
HOLY THURSDAY – April 14th – 7:00 PM
GOOD FRIDAY – April 15th – 3:00 PM
EASTER VIGIL (SATURDAY) – April 16th – 7:45 PM
EASTER SUNDAY – April 17th – 10:00 AM