Dear Sacred Heart and St. Mary on the Lake,
This is Palm Sunday which ushers us into Holy Week. I think of Jesus’ statement to the Apostles at the last Supper when He said to them: “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer, for, I tell you, I shall not eat it [again] until there is fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” Luke 22:15-16. The fourth Eucharistic prayer says it this way: “For when the hour had come for him to be glorified by you, Father most holy, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.”
Knowing exactly what would come in the days ahead, Jesus eagerly entered into His passion, death, and resurrection for our salvation. I have been struck by the fact that sometimes Jesus is more eager to save me than I am to let Him save me. Holy Week is a time to let God enter more fully into our lives, especially those areas that are in need of grace and transformation.
I remember a Lent where the grace simply was Holy Week. It had been a struggle from the start—a continual falling and starting again. When Holy Week came it was a grace to hear Jesus say: Let’s get up one more time, and come with me. If you have had a Lent like that then let Him pick you up one more time and walk with Him.
I would encourage you to come to as many of the Holy Week liturgies as possible—Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Vigil, especially if you have not been able to be there before.
I think I say this every year but one of my favorite times of the whole Triduum is Holy Thursday night when Jesus is taken from the Church to the Altar of Repose. It is to mimic the time he spent in the Garden of Gethsemane. That night the apostles fell asleep and he asked Peter: “Could you not watch with me one hour?” (Matthew 26:40). That evening is a powerful one to spend with Jesus, to just go and be with a friend. Look for the time God is calling to you and give Him a gift this week. Even as He walks with us, we can walk with Him.
Take advantage of going to Confession this Holy Week if you have not been able to already during Lent. It is always fine to grab me or Fr. Ginu and there is certainly no better week to do so. (If I remember correctly, the very first time I celebrated the sacrament of Confession as a priest was in the parking outside the Church I was ordained in. On the way out someone asked if I had time to hear a confession. So really, anytime is the right time!)
This coming Easter, think of who you can bring with you. There are still many who are trying to build the habit anew of attending Mass regularly. It is always so much easier if they can go with someone.
Lastly, we remember hope. We need to watch Jesus this week and accompany Him through His Passion remembering that He did this not just for the world in general, but that He did this for me. His heart burns to heal and save, so let Him!