March 26, 2018
This Monday following Palm Sunday begins Holy Week, that blessing- and trial-filled week which leads to Easter. Holy Week has always meant a lot to me, and I want to share some ideas which might be of help to those who bring troubles and grief to this week.
First, pain and depression do not exist only in people of this world. Imagine what Jesus must have felt, knowing that the very people who had hailed Him with palm branches and hosannas would allow the chief priests and Romans to bring about his death.
Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday) contains within it so much of what Jesus offers, including His washing of feet like a servant, His institution of Holy Communion, His grueling prayers in the garden of Gethsemane, and His betrayal. It is in Gethsemane that Jesus begs His Father to stop His inevitable suffering and death and then chooses His Father’s will because He knows that His sacrifice is our salvation.
Our personal troubles, pain, grief and depression are something we can offer up during this week, knowing that walking with Jesus means walking with Him through the painful times as well as in glory. The whole scope of human experience and emotion becomes part of the walk to the upper room, through Gethsemane, down the path to betrayal, and then up the hill to Golgotha.
I simply cannot imagine coping with death, grief, and all kinds of darkness without the Lord of Light and salvation. He brings meaning to it all and offers compassionate help in the journey.
As I learned in my mountain-climbing days, the glory of the summit is attainable only after the challenging trek up the mountain. In the same way, Easter (or Resurrection Sunday) means nothing without the journey of Holy Week, the emotion of Holy Thursday, the agony of Good Friday, and the dark time in Hell before the Resurrection.
I wish you a blessed Holy Week and a glorious Easter!