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As the Lenten Journey climaxes, and the glory of Easter unfolds, the readings provide a rich array of images inviting us into the deepest mysteries of our redemption.
The final week of Lent is called Holy Week. It begins the day after Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday memorializes Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-11). The Holy week commemorates the events immediately preceding the crucifixion. This is the most solemn time during the Church liturgical calendar.
The Holy Triduum:
With the setting of the sun on Thursday evening, our forty-day Lenten journey of conversion will draw to a close. The Church reminds us that these days are set before us a reminder of the wonders God accomplished through Jesus Christ. Through Him we are saved and made free.
The Passion of Our Lord presents the inexorable result of the Gospels we have been hearing, reflecting and re-living for the last several weeks:
- In conversing with a Samaritan woman and staying in her town, Jesus traded in his ritual purity as a Jew to give her living water.
- In curing the man born blind on the Sabbath, Jesus traded his status as a law-abiding Jew and a respected prophet in order to give him the light to see.
- In going back to Judea to raise Lazarus, Jesus risked his life to bring Lazarus back to life.
- Now, in the Passion, Jesus exchanges his life for the redemption of the world.
During the Holy Week the Church asks us to assist in the celebration of the events leading to Easter. These days made holy by the “Self-emptying” of our Lord brings us a wonderful opportunity of gaining grace to replenish our souls.
The long prayerful tradition of the Church presents the TRIDUUM, as one continuous fabric of the life of Jesus, as His finest Hour of Glory. The services are designed to relive the Redemption: to meditate on the agony our savior suffered so that our souls might be saved and we may live.
We accompany our Lord on this Triduum:
- to the Last supper,
- to the Garden of Gethsemane,
- to Calvary and
- to the Empty Tomb
by faithfully attending the services, reflecting on the eternal love of God for us all, that he would give and surrender His only begotten beloved Son to offer his life on our behalf for the forgiveness of our sins. The Church invites us to immerse ourselves into this 'Self-emptying' of Jesus in the mystery of Redemption.
The Church urges us to prepare to fulfill our Easter Duty and receive Holy Communion worthily on Holy Thursday, Good Friday and surely on Easter Sunday.
It is the hope of the Church that having re-lived this Lenten experience we would more and more each day, and everytime we celebrate, we would become, a new creation, called out of darkness, chosen, consecrated and claimed as His own people, pleasing in the sight of God.