Holy Week commemorates the last few days of Jesus’ earthly life. And it is not an easy week. Holy Week is about real life, and so it can hit very close to home. It is meant to. We are invited to show up with all that we are and all that we have, because the Holy Week story is not just meant to be explained but to be embodied and lived. So just let the story be the story. It does not need to be explained, it needs to be experienced. It does not need to be understood, it needs to be lived. When we let the story of Holy Week be the story, we create room for it to become our story. We let it live in us.
Saint Mark writes that Jesus “entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.” Only Mark offers us the opportunity to look around at everything. And maybe this is what we must do before going any further into this Sacred Week.
Take a look around at everything in your heart. What do you see? Where does it hurt? What’s the pain? In what way is your heart broken? Are you carrying guilt? What are the things that you may regret having done or left undone that chain you to your past? What frightens you? Do you feel overwhelmed by life, as if you were drowning and want to escape? Are there fractured relationships? Is your heart filled with loss, sorrow, grief? Who are the loved ones who have died and you miss? What is the dis-ease of your heart? Take a look around at everything in your heart. This is what Jesus did and continues to do with us. Jesus does not just look around at everything, turn away and leave. He looks at it all with us so that he might take it with him and carry it through this Holy Week. And so must we. Jesus leaves nothing behind. And we must not either. Whatever we refuse to look at and bring to this week cannot be healed, cannot be restored, renewed, re-created or resurrected.
Photograph by Brother Brian. Reflection by Father Damian.