When traveling, one of the most disturbing sounds heard from the back seat of any car is, “Are we there yet?”
Near the end of our Lenten journey, we should remain focused on what lies ahead. Holy Week commemorates the last week of the earthly life of Jesus Christ. So let us not lose our focus by busying ourselves with trying to find that perfect Easter dress, or that extra bag of jelly beans. We are not there yet. Rather we must allow this most blessed and sacred time to unfold in our hearts with new meaning and purpose. Let Holy Week be a time in which we “travel with Jesus” from the gates of Jerusalem, up to Mount Calvary and on to victory.
Let us remember how our Messiah gave of himself at the cross. Let his Passion and death bring you to a newfound understanding of the depth of his love and the power of redemption.
This Holy Week, allow the Lord to reveal to you the blessing he has in store for you and allow him to touch your heart and your spirit. Allow the emotion of this week to grab a hold of you and to shape you. Allow yourself to get to know the fanfare that accompanied Jesus when he rode into Jerusalem. Feel the doubt and finality of Jesus in those last hours in the Garden of Gethsemane on the slopes of the Mount of Olives. Allow your prayer and emotions to take you through the betrayal, the sorrow, the pain, the suffering and the joy that comes through the cross.
As a people of faith, if we want this Holy Week to be truly mystical, find some way to walk in Jesus’ footsteps. On Holy Thursday, take the opportunity to break bread with someone who is in need. Even if all that you have is a simple meal, share it, be in communion with a brother or sister in Christ who is living alone. Find some time to walk with those who come to Our Daily Bread, My Sister’s Place and the Esperanza Center seeking Christ. Go forth with Christ and visit a friend or family member living in a nursing home, take the time to bathe them, to talk with them, and to know the humility that comes from “washing” the disciples’ feet.
On Good Friday, carry your cross. Pray with it, look at the sorrow that is there and let go of the pain that you have been holding onto for too long and those feelings that have been separating you from someone whom you truly love. As you carry your cross let go of the betrayal that is binding you. Carry to the cross the grief that you have because of the hatred, prejudice and injustice that exist in too many places in this world. Mourn for those young people who have lost their lives on our city streets, for those who must live in violence and in the darkness of sin. There at the foot of the cross, let a river of tears flow because now you can see how we have wounded Jesus with our faults, crushed him with our failings, and pierced him with our inhumanity. But know all of this is necessary if we are to be healed by his stripes.
As we take our final steps of this journey, let us walk confidently into the light of Christ. Let us fill our houses of worship this Easter knowing that a new light has dawned upon us. Let whatever darkness that is in our lives be washed away by the waters of baptism. Let us be restored by the light of Christ and let our eyes gaze into that glorious light, knowing that with Jesus there is only victory.
Deacon Steven Rubio serves at both St. Ambrose and St. Matthew parishes in Baltimore.