Today marks the beginning of a holy week of remembrance. Through the Scripture, Song and Sacred Ritual, we commemorate Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection. Our journey to God leads us now to the gates of Jerusalem where ‘Jesus emptied Himself and accepted death on a cross.’ We come to this time and place, open to the wonders of the power of Christ’s death; a power that brings new life to those who have lost hope, a home to the confused, and healing to those who suffer.
We find encouragement on this journey from the Gospels. The Pope said we should “not be men and women of sadness: a Christian can never be sad! Never give way to discouragement! Ours is not a joy that comes from having many possessions, but from having encountered a Person: Jesus, from knowing that with Him we are never alone!”
We are meeting Jesus on His Way to Jerusalem. He is here for a purpose: to be proclaimed a King. But, what kind of King? Jesus is a King who is humbled, who suffers, who will be sacrificed. As we walk this road with Him we come to understand more clearly our own frailties and see in His poverty a heart still young and strong, fired with love for us. We will watch Him fall three times and in each fall see in ourselves an opportunity to rise again and keep on walking, close to the cross, like Simon the Cyrene.
My dear friends, this is the moment to draw out of our busy lives the love we have for God; to feel our hearts pumping with the excitement of knowing the person of Jesus; of seeing in faces around us a need to be cared for, a need to hear an encouraging word, or a need for a simple towel with which to wipe their faces.
Take these moments of holy week and savor them, for they are, in each minute, a love song for you to offer God Who is ever present in our lives and wishes only that you love Him in return. “Christ’s cross embraced with love does not lead to sadness, but to joy! The joy of being saved and doing a little bit what He did that day of His death.” (Francis) With young hearts that “never grow old.” “Let us welcome the Lord as He comes, with songs and hymns, let us run to meet Him, as we offer Him our joyful worship and sing: ‘Blessed be the Lord.”