High Stakes Humanity: Holy Week Perspectives

Lenten Reflections with Br. Michael Perras, ofm

As we journey into this Holy Week let us be attentive to the tensions and movements of the heart of not only those who lived with Jesus but also our own and those who live with us. Holy Week is time to consider the perspectives of high stakes humanity.

​The shouts of “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord” bring us into this week. We add our voices of praise for we know the rich blessings of Christ. Do we live from a place of blessing and gratitude?

​In the gospels for each day of Holy Week we see and hear many different characters. We begin with Pilate and the tension he carries. He feels torn and, in the end, lets pride lead the way. When tensions arise in our life or community do we hold firm in our blinded ways or are we willing to listen to truths we have not considered?

​We again encounter Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. They offer a space for Jesus to gather with those dear to him. During this time Mary anoints the feet of Jesus. When we see actions for the good of others which challenge our norm do we get uncomfortable and defensive, or do we take note and let our heart be transformed?

​Peter also plays a key role in the unfolding of the week, as does Judas. One denies and the other betrays. We too know the pain these actions cause in our lives. Denial cuts to the heart and betrayal leaves one feeling abandoned. How do we not let moments of denial and betrayal destroy our living in Christ? How do we rise above?

​As we enter the Triduum we are invited to table with Jesus and his disciples. At this table not only are we gifted the life-giving bread and living cup, we are also shown what it means to be of true service and to lay down one’s life for another. Who do we need to be gathered at table with during the season ahead? Who do we need to thank for their acts of service? No matter where we are in the journey of life are we willing to lay down our life for another through sacrifices and service?

​As we come to Good Friday, we again hear the cries of “Crucify him!” The angry jeers of the crowd. We cannot remain here; we must move to the foot of the cross. Here we see the deep care of Jesus as he gifts John to his mother and his mother to John. The early church will know it is anchored. We too must note the actions of Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. Their care for Jesus calls us to be care givers for the Body of Christ. How can we do this in these holy days and in the season ahead?

​We then we enter the silence of Holy Saturday. A perspective which we often ignore. How can we incorporate even a moment of holy silence into our daily living?

​Holy Week is indeed high stakes. Let us enter earnestly, paying attention to the movements of the week and the movements of our heart.

We glory in your cross, O Christ for it is the way to life.

Photo Credit: K. Mitch Hodge

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