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The week of tension: Weekly Message for 04-05-2022
Dear Friends in Christ,
If we were real-time followers of Jesus and getting ready to go up with him to Jerusalem, we would soon be in for the shock of our lives.
First, however, there would be the triumphant entry into the holy city and the joyous shouts of welcome from the crowds.
That might lull us into thinking that Our Lord was about to establish an earthly kingdom and send the Romans packing.
But the winds would change quickly.
Shouts of “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord” would within days give way to shouts of “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
The abrupt shift was devastating to his disciples. But not to Our Lord, who knew well the fickleness of human beings. “Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all, and did not need anyone to testify about human nature. He himself understood it well” (John 2:24-25).
One lesson of Holy Week is not to put our trust in the praise of the world.
The second, and more uplifting lesson, is that God’s love and mercy endures despite the hardness of so many hearts. Good Friday would not have the last word in the Gospel.
The drama of Holy Week is a microcosm of the tension in our own lives. We teeter between praising Our Lord with our prayers and sacrifices and turning on him with our sinfulness.
To live the coming Holy Week well, it will help to focus on Our Lord’s sufferings and to recall that he went through all of this for each of us.
To identify more with the heart of Christ in this intense time of the liturgical calendar, it might help to turn to our Retreat Guide, “The Colors of the Cross.”
May we never forget that beyond the Cross will be an empty tomb.
Father Edward McIlmail, LC
Ask a Priest contributor