Please keep your arm around my shoulder,
and your hand over my mouth!
Stepping into Holy Week
by Bill Donaghy
TOB writer and speaker
We all know that time flies, and that there are moments we wish we could recapture or really savor, having brushed past them so quickly before. Well, the Week of Weeks is approaching, the week we call HOLY. It is unique and it is extraordinary, for it's the sequence of these days that led to the unthinkable... the death of God in the flesh and the rebirth of all creation. This is the time when we were ransomed, rescued, and redeemed by God Himself. Let's not let this week slip past without some serious reflection.
The events of Palm Sunday leading up to Easter Sunday hold within their precious hours all of the seeds of all of the greatest stories. There is faith and there is doubt, trust and betrayal, courage and cowardice... amazing love and blinding hatred. There is the shocking horror of an innocent man's death and the unexpected brilliance of Him coming back to life. And what is most beautiful about this story and the events of this week is the fact that they are true. Christianity is the hope that's rooted in real history, the fairy tale that is factual. The blossoming of all the sacred art and music and poetry and people and prayers that have stretched up and into the sky over these 2000 years all trace their roots back to these days of Holy Week, and into the turbulent soil of southern Palestine.
So let's sit still for some time this week. Sit back and crack open the Gospel of John. Take the scriptures to a quiet, out of the way place and get into this story; in a chapel before the Blessed Sacrament, on an old farm road as the sun is setting, in the backyard as the spring wind comes whistling through the trees. Let's take and read like Augustine's tolle et lege, as if for the first time, this ancient story. And let's see in it our own story. Let's make His Passion our passion.