Holy Week - The Road to the Cross
Jesus enters Jerusalem. The liturgy invites us to share in the joy and celebration of the people who cry out in praise of their Lord; a joy that will fade and leaves a bitter and sorrowful taste by the end of the account of the Passion. This celebration seems to combine stories of joy and suffering, mistakes and successes, which are part of our daily lives as disciples.
(Pope Francis, Celebration of Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, 2018)
In his Palm Sunday homily last year, Pope Francis drew the parallel between the spectrum of joys and struggles that Christ experienced during Holy Week and the experiences that we have as part of our daily lives. Palm Sunday coincided with World Youth Day, so he focused his words on our young people, but they are just as appropriate for us. Our Holy Father counselled our youth to live a life that shouts out the “Hosanna” of Palm Sunday as opposed to the “Crucify him” of Good Friday. Living a life of “Hosanna” is one which testifies to the joy that Jesus awakens in us and gives us the strength that we need to overcome even the greatest trials. It is a life that bears witness to the greatest gift of love that our God gave us in the life, death, and resurrection of his Son. As you journey through this Holy Week and walk alongside Jesus through his triumph and his passion, may you gain the deep appreciation for his sacrifice and be renewed in your commitment to live a life of Hosanna!
The heartbeat of the Risen Lord is granted us as a gift, a present, a new horizon. The beating heart of the Risen Lord is given to us, and we are asked to give it in turn as a transforming force, as the leaven of a new humanity. (Pope Francis, Easter Vigil in the Holy Night, 2017)
Alleluia! Christ is Risen! This is the joyful proclamation that arrives with Easter Sunday. It is the fulfillment of the prophecies that told of our Salvation through the Risen Christ. In his homily during the Easter Vigil in 2017, Pope Francis invited us to reflect on this gift of Salvation as more than the fulfillment of a promise. He invited us to look at it as a new beginning for humanity – a beginning in which we can play a transforming role. As we celebrate the Easter season, may you come to know the true joy that is found in the gift of God’s love, and may you share that love generously with the world in order to make it a better place.
"On this Easter morning, let us look again at the lives we have been so generously given and let us let fall away the useless baggage that we carry -- old pains, old habits, old ways of seeing and feeling -- and let us have the courage to begin again. Life is very short, and we are no sooner here than it is time to depart again, and we should use to the full the time that we still have.
We don't realize all the good we can do…We were sent here to search for the light of Easter in our hearts, and when we find it we are meant to give it away generously. The dawn that is rising this Easter morning is a gift to our hearts and we are meant to celebrate it and to carry away from this holy, ancient place the gifts of healing and light and the courage of a new beginning."
John O'Donohue, Dawn Mass Reflections at Corcomroe Abbey
Have a Blessed Easter!
The Board of Trustees and Superintendent of Edmonton Catholic Schools