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March 29, 2015

Our Christian life is often compared to a journey.  But it is not a journey on which we travel alone.  Ours is a journey with Christ the whole way.  We can say that just as Holy Week is the crisis point in Christ's journey so it is the crisis point in ours.  It is the moment when we break the regularity to spend a little longer with him.  We let ourselves be closer to him.

Today we see Jesus arriving with his friends in Jerusalem.  They waved palms, symbols of triumph for the Jewish people.  For them the leadership of Jesus was very real in the world.  In the Passion Reading we see the week unfold.  There is the intimacy of the Last Supper, thefeet washing and the institution of the Eucharist.  Here we can meet Christ at the centre of our Christian community life.  Good Friday is a day God’s love is revealed in the sufferings and death of Jesus on the cross.

Then there is the blackness of the absence of Christ.  This absence is symbolized in our parish churches on Holy Saturday when all the normal furnishings required for worship are missing.  In fact there is no worship during the day-light hours of that day.  After dark, the Vigil begins.  From the new fire the light begins to travel, gradually illuminating the whole church building.  And, as the Vigil continues, we move to the celebration of new life in Baptism and the firstMass of Easter, safe now in the knowledge that Christ has conquered death and is with us forever.

The Passion reading should bring about in us an awareness of the overwhelming love of God on our journey, and a sense of the need of deep repentance in our hearts.  On Palm Sunday the disciples entered into Jerusalem with the Glory of Christ, but how soon they were to abandon him on Good Friday.  It is easy to follow Christ when everything is going well but we are all too well aware how easily we deny him, not once, but many times on our journey.  Today gives us an opportunity to renew our commitment to Christ, not simply in an external way, but in a way which touches our lives at the deepest level so that with the whole Church we can share Christ's journey and bring light and life to the world.

I wish that each and every one of us will spend more time with the Lord through all the worshiping celebrations of this Holy Week.  May God bless you!