Thursday, March 26, 2015
Holy Week: Entering into the Paschal Mystery
“I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.”
Holy Week has been set aside since the early centuries of the church as a special week for Christians. This time is an opportunity to remember our Lord's triumphal entry into Jerusalem, his Last Supper with the Disciplines, his Passion, his days in the grave, and ultimately his Resurrection.
More than a memorial, however, Holy Week is an opportunity for us as believers to enter into the divine mysteries. The events of two millennia ago are not simply over and done. Rather, they live on and invite us to enter into them.
As we sing "Hosanna!" on Palm Sunday, we both celebrate the Messiah's entrance into Jerusalem and begin to mourn his coming trial and crucifixion.
As we partake of the Eucharist on Holy Thursday, we join with the Eleven Apostles--and all the Christians through the ages--as we partake of our Lord's Body and Blood.
As we observe Good Friday, we contemplate the cross on which he died. Some of our crosses in church are gold or silver; others are rough wood, like the one on which Jesus died. As we look on the cross in the front of church, we reflect on the utter love shown us that day. More than this, the Christian life means to be "crucified with Christ." We reckon ourselves as dead, for "it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me" (Galatians 2:20).
As we go through Saturday, we feel the awful emptiness that the Apostles, Mary, the other women, and the many other disciples must have felt.
I find that the more I enter into the days leading up to Easter, the more I fully realize the truth of Resurrection. My prayer is for all Christians this Holy Week, that we would indeed enter into the Paschal Mystery of our Lord’s Passion and Resurrection.