Sunday, April 01, 2007

Holy Week Begins!

Today is Palm Sunday -- when the Roman Catholic Church celebrates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem. This is also the day we remember how quickly the crowd turned on Jesus and shouted for him to be crucified. An interesting juxtaposition of Jesus as King and Martyr. Palm Sunday heralds the beginning of Holy Week, the holiest of weeks. This is our chance to really focus on the last days of the Lord's life. We start with his Triumphal entry -- with crowds shouting and cheering for their new king!

Holy Thursday we see Jesus instituting the Last Supper with his apostles. And yes, Judas was present -- even with Jesus hand-chosen there was a bad-apple, a man who chose the "dark side" and sold out. Something we need to remember in light of all the Clerical Scandals -- one bad man (or even hundreds of bad men) does not mean that the others at table are also bad; 11 stayed with Jesus and later founded the Church! Good Friday, we see Jesus at his most humble. At ANY TIME, he could have stopped it all and shown his divinity; but even Jesus (God himself) freely chose as a man to follow God's plan and suffer indescribable agony for US! Something I REALLY need to remember when the small injustices in life crop up...
Holy Saturday and his family and friends lay him in the tomb, roll the stone before the cave and weep because their beloved is dead. How hopeless and despairing they must have felt -- and yet they stayed near the tomb, praying and hoping when it seemed hopeless, ready to do whatever the Lord directed.

And then, Easter morning, when the women come to the tomb and find just the burial clothes. I particularly like this painting by Fra Angelico -- Mary looks so confused and the angel sits calmly and explains that Jesus is not there anymore. The Resurrected Lord rising above the weeping and bemused women sums up the Catholic Church -- Jesus is ALWAYS present and when we don't understand, God sends us messengers who help us understand. And on this Rock, Jesus built his Church!

2 comments:

Alice said...

What beautiful artwork for Holy Week!

Leonie said...

I love icons - some interesting icins here...