The Week That Changed the World
Lent Reflection -- 6th Week of Lent " Holy Week
Father David Finn, Boylan Central Catholic High School, Rockford - Spiritual Director
March 21, 2024

We are about to embark on the week that changed the world. Holy Week is the most sacred time we have as Chris­tians. On Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil, we enter into the mystery of being present with Jesus Christ so that we might be with Him for eternity.

On Palm Sunday, Jesus enters Jerusalem with the crowd chanting, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” We all know that just five days later, the same crowd shouts, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

How quickly a crowd can change their beliefs. It should remind us that we believe in Jesus Christ and His immutable truths, not in society’s fleeting views and cultural trends.

Holy Thursday brings to mind the Last Supper. On the night of Holy Thursday, Jesus instituted the sacrament of the Eucharist and the sacrament of Holy Orders. The Eucharist and the sacred priesthood are intimately connected. In his book “Gift and Mystery,” Pope St. John Paul II said, “Without the priesthood, there is no Eucharist; without the Eucharist, there is no priesthood.” Let us renew our faith in the Blessed Sacrament, the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, and continue our affection for the priests who minister to us.

Jesus’ life is directed towards the supreme moment of Good Friday. Let us meditate on the seven last words of Jesus: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” … “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” … “Woman, behold, your son. … Behold, your mother.” … “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” “I thirst.” … “It is finished … Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!”

“Something strange is happening — there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and He has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.” This passage is from an ancient homily on Holy Saturday (found in the day’s Divine Office). We wait in hope on Holy Saturday. We patiently wait for Jesus, our Redeemer, who will conquer sin and death.

The Easter Vigil starts in darkness and stillness, just as the earth was on that day before the Resurrection. At the Easter Vigil, we hear the beautiful Exultet, the ancient hymn that recounts creation’s beginnings. During the seven readings from Sacred Scripture, we hear of man’s creation and redemption. Finally, after 40 days of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving, we can chant the beautiful words: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia. Jesus has conquered sin, and death is vanquished. He is Risen!

 

Shop Religious items at HOLYART.COM