Hard to believe, but this coming Sunday we will celebrate Palm Sunday marking the beginning of Holy Week – the most paradoxical week of the year: on Sunday, Jesus enters Jerusalem triumphantly and then by Friday he is dead at the hands of the same who greeted Him with cheers only days before.
Our daily Mass readings are changing tone. Jesus’ miracles make Him more well-known and his followers increase. Direct with His criticism towards the Jewish leaders, Jesus speaks to them of their blindness, stubbornness, and arrogance. The Jewish leaders revile him and plot against him.
This past Sunday, we prayed psalm 130, The Miserere, “Out of the depths I cry to you, O, Lord; Lord hear my voice.” An urgency accompanies the readings as each day passes. Their darkness foreshadows what we all know will come – Jesus’ betrayal, passion, and death. In spite of the fact that I know this all happened, and we will relive it next week, there’s a part of me screaming, “Nooooooo!”
Last Tuesday, I stopped by my parish church and prayed the stations of the cross. I don’t have a particular devotion to them. I have, however, been praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy during Lent and reading Jesus’ words to Saint Faustina. He asks her (and us by extension) to pray the stations during the Hour of Mercy, 3:00-4:00 pm. So I thought a good way to prepare for Holy Week might be to pray the stations daily through Good Friday.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) website posts the Stations of the Cross that are based on those celebrated by Pope John Paul II on Good Friday 1991. I invite you to spend some time praying on these in the days ahead. If you can do them all daily, great! If you can do them once, terrific! If not, take one or two to ponder throughout your day, entering into the Lord’s passion and praying for a greater understanding of his love and a greater horror of sin.
We adore You, O Christ, and we bless you, because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world. Anne