Different passions of Holy Week

“I am ready to go with Jesus to the very end and die— and be resurrected—with him”

The term “Triduum” originates from the Latin word for “three days”.

This period, spanning from the evening of Holy Thursday to the evening of Easter Sunday, is considered the most sacred time of the year in the Catholic Church.

Although it lasts for three days, it is considered a single day in liturgical terms, representing the unity of Christ’s pascal mystery.

During the Triduum, Christians remember and honor Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, which are the three pillars of the Catholic faith: the sacrament of Holy Communion, the priesthood, and the Mass.

This period is an opportunity for Christians to reflect on the central events of their faith and to acknowledge the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

The Triduum is marked by solemnity, but it also represents hope, as Christians anticipate the joy of Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday.

On Holy Thursday, the Chrism Mass is celebrated, during which the local bishop consecrates the holy oils that will be used throughout the year for sacraments such as baptism, confirmation, holy orders, and the anointing of the sick.

The Mass of the Lord’s Supper, traditionally held after sundown, commemorates the institution of the sacrament of the Eucharist and recalls the last supper of Jesus Christ.

It was during this last supper that Christ, after being betrayed, offered his body and blood to God the Father in the form of bread and wine. He gave these to the apostles and instructed them and their successors in the priesthood to continue this offering at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper.

There is perhaps no other part of the human body as humble as our feet.

They’re literally at the bottom of everything we identify as our physical self.

Our feet are our connection with the soil of the earth and carry us through our life’s journey.

To touch the feet of another is an intimate gesture in many cultures. In our culture we entrust such touch to those who love us most.

In Jesus day, walking was the usual means of transportation.

Foot washing was frequently needed.

It served as both a gesture of hospitality in domestic settings and as a means of ritual purification.

Before entering both domestic and sacred spaces those who perform the actual foot washing were at the bottom of the social hierarchy.

How significant is it that Jesus voluntarily takes up this lowest of tasks at the Last Supper with his disciples.

This act and its meaning could not have been clearer or more shocking to them so much so that Peter refused at first to allow the Lord to debase himself.

In this way all the themes of our Lenten season are powerfully captured in our imitation of Jesus’ foot washing.

During our worship on Holy Thursday this act expresses all that preceded this moment for Jesus and all that follows his utter self-emptying on the cross of Good Friday and the vindication of that offering in his Easter resurrection.

The image of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet is a powerful symbol of selfless love and service.

Jesus is demonstrating a radical form of service and leadership.

In his culture, it was the job of the lowest servant to wash the feet of guests who entered a home.

But Jesus, who was their teacher and leader, took on this menial task as an act of love and service.

The humble gesture of Christ also speaks of our own mission as Christians.

We are called to follow in Jesus’ footsteps and to serve others with the same self-emptying love that he demonstrated.

In doing so, we help to make those we serve more whole and we also rediscover our own brokenness and God’s healing touch.

Service and humility are two key values emphasized in the teachings of Jesus Christ, and they are integral to the Christian faith.

Christians believe that service and humility are important for several reasons:

Jesus showed us the real meaning of service and humility.

He demonstrated his love for others by serving them and washing their feet, and made the ultimate sacrifice by willingly dying on the cross for the sins of humanity.

True Christians strive to follow his example by serving others and putting their needs above their own.

The Jesuit magazine America published an article last week on how Jesus and his disciple Peter went through different passions.

James and John and the other apostles, Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus, Simon of Cyrene, Jesus’ mother Mary, the women of Jerusalem, and even Judas, Pontius Pilate, Herod, and Caiaphas surely had their own passion too even as they made the wrong choices.

The America article concludes: “As the church enters into Holy Week, the faithful endure and relive the passion narrative of Christ.

In our own Lenten journey, as we have fasted and prayed, we may have encountered moments of generosity when we were ready to go with Jesus to the very end and die with him.”

The question to my readers: did you say yes to carry your cross, to be raised up in crucifixion? Are you ready for the resurrection?

As for me, my near death encounter last year and my carrying the cross of my illness have prepared me for these moments of generosity.

I am ready to go with Jesus to the very end and die—and be resurrected – with him.

Visit this link to access the article.

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