On this Passion Sunday, we enter yet again today into the most blessed of weeks, Holy Week and the Triduum. It is the week in which we remember Jesus’ institution of the eucharist that sustains our faith and our hope and that keeps us Christian. The week in which we remember Jesus’ passion, from his agony and arrest in the garden of Gethsmani to his death on the cross, the week in which we remember the horrible solitude of his passion, the passion in which was fulfilled the fourth of the Songs of the Suffering Servant: “Upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.” Is 53,5 It is the week in which we remember the wonderfully discreet way in which, sometime between the time his grave was closed with a stone and the time, two mornings later, when the women arrived at the tomb, the Father raised Jesus from death to life, thereby putting his seal on everything that Jesus had said, on everything that was implied in what Jesus had done. We remember the lance that pierced Jesus’ side on the cross, and the blood and water that flowed out; the blood, for the forgiveness of sin; the water, for the baptism that would make us Church – but more about that next Sunday.
I will not be with you for much of the celebrations of this Holy Week and Triduum. Pain prevents me from remaining seated or standing for any length of time. But I will be with you in prayer. My prayer this week will be for you all, that in the remembrance, you will all be granted the grace of a deepened appreciation of these events that stand at the beginning of who and what we are as Church.
May God grant us all the grace of a truly Holy Week.