In a month’s time, God willing, I, with the rest of the “September” Pilgrims, will be able to stand in the traditional Room of the Last Supper, wander around the Garden of Gethsemane, climb up onto the Hill of Calvary and visit the Tomb. No matter that some of these may not be precisely in the exact location of the events of Holy Week. The important thing is that these holy places remind us that these events really did happen. Real bread and wine became the real Body and Blood, real water on Peter’s feet, thorns on head, nails in wrists and ankles, blood on wood… yes, it all happened.
This week, this Week of Weeks, takes us to the heart and source of our faith where we find life and death, love and hate, faithfulness and betrayal, sin and perfection, fear and triumph. In a word, it is in Holy Week and Easter that we find the truth of our faith, where God bends down, immerses himself in our humanity in all its grittiness and offers to raise us to glory. If we have come this far in Lent, one last effort, one last decision to stay with Him – as He decided at Gethsemane to do all this for us – and we will be there. A final determination to follow him now, and we too can be raised up with Him.
Finally, our prayer for use at Mass or at home for Palm Sunday:
You have accompanied us on our journey through Lent,
be with us now as we enter this most holy of weeks.
Help us to embrace the glory and the joy of the cross
through which you redeemed each one of us.
And instill in us a desire to share your infinite love and mercy for us
with those who do not know you.