Lent is a preparation for and a build-up to Holy Week, the week that commemorates the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Saviour. The daily mass readings and church services enable us journey with Jesus through the agony of his suffering into the glory of the Resurrection.
The Holy Week tridum is a blend of darkness and light, pain and hope, strength and weakness, leading to the Easter Vigil, Holy Saturday night, when we sing of the earth “radiant in brightness.”
Wednesday, known as Spy Wednesday, was when Judas betrayed his leader and friend for 30 pieces of silver. Loyalty and friendship were overshadowed by money.
Thursday, known as Maundy Thursday, stresses how Jesus, in humble service, washed the feet of his disciples, showing them and us how to lovingly and generously serve and help others. He then spent the evening in prayer, from which he got his strength.
Good Friday invites us to be present to Jesus as he us unjustly condemned, humiliated and subject to degrading suffering. We journey with him through the streets of Jerusalem as he carries his cross. Characters like Simon of Cyrene, Veronica and some women support him, others deride him. But he endures all for love of us.
Holy Saturday is that day of emptiness and waiting, but a waiting pregnant with hope and trust. A stillness hangs in the air. God won’t let us down!
Easter Sunday ushers in new life, new hope, endless possibilities as the stone is rolled away from the tomb. Jesus has gone before us, telling us rejoice, live, witness! The sacrament of Christ’s presence is now everywhere. Mark 16:16 “Go out to the whole world; proclaim the good news to all.”
The poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins, prays in The Wreck of the Deutschland: “Let him Easter in us, be a day spring to the dimness of us.”
Image: St Augustine’s Swindon UK