I was kneeling on the floor of a hotel last Saturday, celebrating mass with a group of other Catholic young adults from across the state and Bishop Cepeda when it hit me–it’s Holy Week! Really and truly!
Guys, this is such a special week for us Christians, but this is one week I especially love being Catholic: the experience PACKED full of deep and meaningful centuries-old prayer, song, and ritual.
On Saturday (vigil of Palm Sunday, therefore my Palm Sunday mass), we read a gospel account of the Passion of our Lord–as we do every Palm Sunday. I have heard this story countless times. I have gazed upon a crucifix more times than I could ever count. And yet, Palm Sunday still touches me.
In this story, the people are given a choice: do they want to set Jesus free or do they want to set a thief and murderer, Barabas, free? Every Palm Sunday, the congregation participates by saying the words of the crowd. “Barabas, we want Barabas.”
I have mixed feelings every time. I kind of want to be the one to yell out, “NO! Jesus has done nothing! PLEASE! Set Jesus free!”
But, I don’t…because I realize that I choose Barabas an awful lot in my own life anyway. Whenever I feel like Jesus’ way is too hard, I pick the other guy. This is why I need Holy Week, to be reminded. With the crowd, I say, “Crucify Him, crucify Him.”
My God, I don’t know what I’m doing.
I have a darling coworker who was talking to me about her Easter tradition. She said her mother told her to always buy something new to wear on Easter…even if it was just new socks. 🙂 This is because Easter is our new beginning, and so it is important.
I remembered this, and I told my sister. So, together we went to the store last night. We tried on countless dresses, but ended up buying matching ones anyway (Green! Lace-overlay with a bit of flare).
A part of me wondered if I shouldn’t be in adoration for Holy Week, but I think there’s something holy about ordinary preparation as well.
Christine had talked our friend, Matt, into joining us for the ride (he did homework as we shopped). Eventually, though, he asked us each for dances and we obliged…dancing to the store’s music. And there was something holy about being there, buying dresses in preparation for Easter, dancing with each other and laughing. We will never have that time again, and it was sacred. Thanks be to God.
I don’t know what this Holy Week has in store–what kinds of graces and lessons. But, for now, I’m heading to adoration. I will pray for you and yours as we embark on this spiritual journey.
May we grow in holiness. Amen.