Monday of Holy Week 2020

Is it religious illiteracy alone that makes many people refer to this week as ‘Easter Week’? In a sense, those who do are right even though their usage is contrary to Christian tradition. We have an annual remembrance of the events leading up to the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we know that precisely because of his passion, death and resurrection, everything has changed — for ever. We are indeed an Easter people, living in the light of the resurrection, even today, when the streets leading into Jerusalem, which yesterday resounded to hosannas, are filled with dusty, trampled greenery and Jesus himself has disappeared from sight.

I think that temporary absence of Jesus from public view is an important element of Holy Week but we need to hold onto our Easter faith. On Maundy Thursday we shall see Jesus and his disciples again, and after that, he will be centre-stage, so to say. But for now, he is hidden. We do not see him or hear him. As the apostle says, ‘We walk by faith, not by sight.’ (2 Corinthians 5.7) These few days of apparent absence are the time when we must each make a decisive choice. It is easy to follow a conquering hero, to be one of the crowd applauding a triumphant entry, but to be a follower of someone who makes no great éclat, who is at odds with the establishment, whom we don’t even see, that is much harder. No wonder many give up at this point.

But for us, today, tired as we are, leaderless as we think we are, we must choose Jesus.

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5 thoughts on “Monday of Holy Week 2020”

  1. it goes without saying that the content is always superb but I really love to hear it read. It is , for me, like “thought for the day”…..only better.

  2. I suspect it’s the same misunderstanding of the significance of this week as those who take down their Christmas trees on the 26th of December. There’s so much more to be immersed in and absorb.

    I’m struggling to walk by faith as I watch the rising numbers of Covid-19 infections and deaths. I know our Lord is here, somewhere, but during this normally holy, sacred week he seems more absent than just hidden from view. We’re told priests are celebrating Holy Mass by themselves but unfortunately I find little comfort in that.

    We’ll have to wait many more weeks past Easter Sunday before we can return to Mass, as we await the peak of pandemic in our region. Meanwhile, it’s in daily phone calls to neighbours living alone where I sense his presence as we share apprehensions and provide support. This year we’ll have to chant the Exultet on our own and rely on the communion of saints to sing with us I suppose.

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