April 2, 2020

Holy Week Reflection

Have you noticed how we tap into the spirit of those close to us especially during this time of ‘shelter in place? When we are near those with a trusting and peaceful spirit, our spirit can tap into that same spirit. When we are near those who are agitated and worried, we tap into that same spirit. What does this teach us about Holy Week?

When traumas happen to us, we immediately feel alone. A picture comes to our memory of past ordeals or sufferings. We bury it. We ‘file it away on the cloud.’ Instead, this Holy Week gives us an opportunity to put Jesus, Mary and Joseph ‘back’ into the picture of our own personal tribulations or trials. In this way we will find healing. In this way we will find resurrection from the power of sin and death which is very real in our lives. Use the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary and the story of the Passion in your prayer time this week.

+ The Agony in the Garden. how often have you been there? Sleepless nights worrying. We did not sweat blood, but we certainly sweated through the worry.
+ Jesus was condemned before Pilate. Those moments in our past when we felt condemned and abandoned; did we realize that this very Jesus was with us?
+ Before He was crowned with thorns, the soldiers mocked Him, plucked His beard, blind folded Him and spit upon Him. When we felt most vulnerable and defenseless, did we not know that this very Jesus was most close to us?
+ Jesus carried His cross. Did we forget that when we were carrying our cross, this very Jesus was most close to us?
+ The prophet Simeon told Mary that a sword would pierce her heart. When we have received bad news: loss of a job, loss of a loved one, do we realize this IS when we are most close to Our Blessed Mother, when the sword pierced her heart?
+ The exile into Egypt reminds us of times when we were led to a place where we did not want to go. We felt alone and vulnerable. The most horrible feeling of being fatherless came over us! This is when we are closest to Joseph, Mary and the infant Jesus? After all, we are travelling in a foreign land and there is no else to turn to but Joseph, Mary and the infant Jesus.

Once we realize that Jesus, Joseph and Mary are with us, we can ‘tap into their spirit’ just like we always do with each other under our roof. Ask them for a share in their spirit of trust in the Father during these uncertainties that we face now.

As your pastor, I pray that this pre-Holy Week reflection will help you realize how Jesus, Mary and Joseph have been walking with you throughout your life. The more we recognize this gift of their presence with us in the past, the more we will be able to ‘let go of self’ and to open ourselves to walk with Jesus during this Holy Week.

Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Fr. Joe Barr

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