In my nearly 47 years as a priest did I ever think we would not be celebrating Holy Week. Sunday the blessing of Palms and the reading of the Passion, Tuesday Mass of Chrism where the three oils used in the various sacraments are blessed and consecrated and then distributed to all the parishes in the Archdiocese. Thursday celebrating the institution of the sacrament of Holy orders and Eucharist in which we wash feet. Good Friday celebrating Jesus’ passion and death; the only day of the year that church doesn’t celebrate Mass. The Easter Vigil where we welcome new members into the Church beginning with the blessing of fire, the Pascal candle, the water and bread and wine, the presence of the Risen Christ, and Easter Sunday. These are the most important events in Christ’s life, and therefore, our lives as well.
We hold palm branches today, recalling Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. It is a bittersweet remembrance because we know that no sooner had he celebrated the Passover with his disciples then he was arrested, tried, convicted and put to death.
Jesus is on his own. Everyone had abandoned him. Judas betrayed him, his closest friends fell asleep, all his disciples fled after his arrest, Peter denied knowing him. No wonder he cried out on the cross “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me”? In his agony Jesus wondered if his Father had left him to die alone.
For many of us, most of the time we live a very comfortable life. But then a COVED-19 (coronavirus) hits our world. Now we might ask, “Where is God”? Ultimately, Jesus did the Father’s will and surrendered himself into the Father’s hands. That is the answer for us as we carry the cross of this terrible disease. In our trials and hardships we pray, we bond with family and friends, and we reach out in charity to help one another. We take refuge in the knowledge that God is stronger and will save us to share in the glory and power of his son’s resurrection.
Love, Peace, Joy