The final days of Lent are the days of Holy Week. They are the closing chapter of our Lenten journey, which takes us to Jerusalem, and they are also the beginning of something new, which we call Easter. The days of Holy Week begin on Palm Sunday, which is also known as Passion Sunday, because of all that will happen during this week. We celebrate the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem by waving palm branches in the air and shouting, “Hosanna in the highest!”
There are many stories from Holy Week and Jesus’ time in Jerusalem, but the three days we talk about the most are Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. Within these three, short days, sadness will overwhelm us and joy will surprise us!
As we reflect on our regular days, where we live and work, hope and grieve, we find both sadness and joy. There are even times when we find both of these together. Holy Week is the week that redefines every other week because it speaks to our sadness and to our joy.
We discover the endurance of the steadfast love of God, which carries us through our sadness and surprises us with immeasurable grace. On any given day, Holy Week has something to say to us about the presence of God. We find Christ in the shadows of darkness and at the heart of the brightest light.
Holy Week prevents us from making a caricature of the world. Instead, it aids us in discovering purpose throughout the journey, whether we face the darkness or celebrate the light. We can find the presence of Christ wherever we are.
We enter this Holy Week, revisiting the final days of Jesus’ life, but remembering that it also speaks to our lives now. We walk alongside Jesus this week, knowing that we are never alone. We walk into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, anticipating the week to come. There will be hope in the midst of darkness, and the light of God’s love will shine forth yet again.