31st March 2021
...a mere symbol...
Holy Week teaches us that
we must overcome our detachment,
a detachment which makes the Cross
a mere symbol.
Like the disciples in the gospel,
we too have to experience fear.
We have to experience a form of brokenness.
And, just as was the case with the disciples;
this feeling of brokenness is usually a sign
that our own defences,
our own ideas of self-reliance
are tumbling down around about us.
Unless we identify with the actions
of the disciples of Jesus,
we have not begun to understand Holy Week.
Those who have encountered despair
can best appreciate victory.
Only the dead can appreciate resurrection,
and all Christians must confront
and experience the darkness as we
move along the road to our own death.
If we are to be true to our calling as Christians,
we cannot shy away from the dark places of our lives -
and there is none darker than the death of Jesus.
We cannot be transformed or liberated other than
at the foot of the Cross,
and neither can those to whom
we seek to show Christ.
To ignore this week of all weeks
is to collude with the tendency of the world
to run away from pain and fear altogether.
As Christian's we have to offer the Cross
again and again to the most harrowing
aspects of peoples' lives.
By sharing in the darkness and fear
of the disciples, we can truly be said to be
people who understand the power of the cross
to speak to human pain,
and as the only cure for
the world's sickness.
Wednesday of Holy week was a day of silence;
there are no activities recorded in the gospels;
yet much must have taken place
as Jesus prepared for Last Supper
and Judas and the Sanhedrin prepared
for Jesus' arrest after their preliminary
meeting late the previous evening.
Jesus remained in Bethany throughout the day
and stayed the night there.
Did he draw strength and comfort
from the daily routine of family life
with his friends Mary, Martha and Lazarus?
Did he find quiet space to pray to his Father
in anticipation of what was to come
as he often did in times of trouble?
We can only surmise.
Can we take time out to reflect and pray
as we approach the climax of the week
so that we can fully enter into
Christ's Passion and the glorious
resurrection on Easter Day.
It may be interesting to watch,
or just listen to a song
'When my flesh is weak'
(Watching and praying)
sung by Joel Payne
via the link shown below.