Holy Week Reflection: Getting ready to celebrate the Triduum



Reflecting back when we started this journey on Ash Wednesday, we see that we have come a long way, but this is not the end. It is a new beginning to recognize God’s love for us and our commitment to do the same for others. Some of us made the commitment to give up or do something better for our lives. We recognize that probably we were not perfect in this commitment; maybe we forgot to do it, it was hard, very demanding for us or we were just lazy. Even though this might have happened, God was always there to give us a helping hand to carry our burden. So let us enter into this most sacred time of the year, knowing that God is with us.

On Sunday we had our palms, cheering, shouting and praising Jesus for he is a miracle worker, someone who understands the needs of the poor, who speaks the truth with sincerity and gathers people together to speak beautiful words of the new Kingdom that will be coming soon.

On Thursday he gathers his most trusted friends, the ones he has been teaching and showing that he is the true Messiah. He gathers them for a fellowship meal, where he tells them to eat of his body and drink his blood to be able to have life, life in Him. He calls them to establish the Kingdom and become his apostles sent forth to build God’s kingdom on earth. Many of them thought that it was going to be a very powerful political kingdom and that they would have good positions and who knows, maybe they were thinking about their own wealth. But it was not that kind of a kingdom; it was instead a kingdom of humbleness, humility, simplicity, sacrifice and zeal for others.

He shows them that they have to get on their knees and wash each other’s feet. He is the suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 and the one in Matthew 20:28 who came “not to be served but to serve.” The humility expressed with a towel and basin in hand is the foreshadowing of His ultimate act of humility and his love for us on the cross.  Some of them didn’t want to be washed, but he insists, to be able to be part of his kingdom. Jesus didn’t choose the brightest or holiest or most perfect people. They all promised that they would die with him and be with him until the end. But he was sold, denied, abandoned and put in prison.

On Friday we see how people turned against him; his own religious leaders, powerful political leaders who were afraid of the agitated growing mob, so he was punish to death, death on cross. But first he was scourged and humiliated. He died on the cross an innocent man, he died for our sins to liberate us and brings to life, to show us how God’s love is so immense and everlasting.

On Saturday we are expecting something great to happen. Easter begins with a blazing fire that brings light to a dark space. From that fire, the Paschal Candle is lit. Jesus has conquered the darkness once and for all. We renew our baptismal promises and affirm what we believe. We are sprinkled with holy water to remember our baptism. It is from this candle that baptism candles are lit throughout the year, we use it at funerals to celebrate the life of faith of those who have departed and we light it to celebrate the commitment of our faith in the sacrament of Confirmation as a symbol of our faith and our desire to be light to the world as Jesus is for us.

Jesus always speaks about hope. A hope that is not based on chances that things will get better or at least not any worse; but His hope is built on that whatever happens in our lives, God will stay close to us all the days of our lives, in all places and especially in our hearts. God is the God of light and life.

Reflection:

Prayerfully read John 9:1-40, the story of the man born blind and reflect on:
  • How does this story touch your life?
  • Which character in the story do you feel most connected to? Why?
  • Who are the blind people today?
  • Siloam means being sent. How is God inviting you to be washed so that you can wash others?
  • What the blindness in my life I can address that will allow me to more fully participate in the paschal mysteries we are about to celebrate this triduum?

Andres Garcia is a Mission Promoter-Educator located in the San Francisco Bay Area and is available for parish retreats and mission.
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