Holy Week 2021: a challenge
This Holy Week we are faced with the challenge of being patient, loving and paying special attention to God's ways, while being humble and serviceable, within our communities, just as the apostles were with Jesus during the Last Supper.
Claudia Brehm, 2. April 2021
Jesus is received with great happiness, joy, and jubilation. People line the streets with palms in hand to greet him with enthusiasm, laying their robes on the pavement to give a warm welcome to such a special person, Jesus.
How much joy is in our lives, how many reasons to be thankful! It is up to us to discover God’s joyous and loving imprints along the way and to rejoice and sustain such joy. We easily take things for granted.
And then? Everything is turned upside down! How easily do we become resentful and angry by failed expectations and hopes? How easily do approval and joy reach a critical point when events don’t turn out as expected? Triumph and contempt are just around the corner today as they were 2000 years ago.
Jesus invites his disciples to the Passover supper. Before that, He washes their feet as if He was his servant and slave. How important serving others must be for him; bowing to others, not striving for power over them, but rather wanting to impart this humble gesture in his disciples as a legacy. This courage to serve is in jeopardy; in each one of us, human beings, in our marriages and families, in our Church, in society and in the world. War and conflict would be totally unnecessary, the Church wouldn’t have to battle against abuse of power and lose so many of its followers. What about Schoenstatt? Where does this attitude of being superior to others, of not being willing to serve but rather to rule stem from? The consternation of looking at our founder, who just wanted to serve everyone and his mission, being portrayed as an oppressor is quite profound.
Jesus and his disciples share their meal while Jesus pronounces words that we listen to in each eucharistic celebration: “this is my body, this is my blood”. There is a deep communion among those at the table and, at the same time, there is room for Him to share His legacy. Getting together with Jesus at his table, contemplating him, being inspired by him, is still probably the best way to keep a deep connection to others, regardless of discussions, ways of thinking and personalities. In so doing, we must learn to allow our fellow participants to be different, looking at the differences as an enrichment and not as a reason to become distant or divided.
This is important for the synodal process, for the Church, and for Schoenstatt as well. The Covenant of Love is colorful and aims to unite many different people in originality, love, creativeness, and mutual affection. It provides strength for the reconciliation and development of different nations instead of creating conflict between them.
Jesus is sentenced without being questioned, without a just trial. At last, the authorities, fearing the loss of power, found a way to get rid of He who, above all, took loving care of the outcasts and gave place to loving mercy.
To give your life for love. To put yourself aside, all your dreams and desires so that others may live: Jesus gave it all to make living possible for others and to protect that life. With no hesitation, He stands beside those who can no longer stand for themselves due to life’s burdens and problems when pain and suffering become unbearable. He does not remain as a mere spectator; He actively stands against that which is destructive. He allows others to break him so that no one else may be broken by their state of life. What is our place in the way of the cross? Are we Simon, Veronica, the wailing women, the centurions?
Silence, nothingness, somber peace. A transitional state. Hopes are broken, fear is in the air, what will happen now? That is the big question after Jesus’s death, the big question for today’s Church. Plenty of questions for Schoenstatt as well. Are we, as the Schoenstatt Movement, already on Holy Saturday’s mindset? Where will this take us? What are the questions? How do we make ourselves clear and understandable? What are God’s ways?
Holy Saturday is an important day, even though it does not seem like it. In every crisis and challenge, it is important to make a pause, to avoid disorderly responses, stepping back and looking at events from different angles, taking time to listen to God, commit to His word and to His unusual ways.
Wishing all of us the inspiration needed for a Holy Week full of challenges. God has promised an Easter and a resurrection, joy and a Hallelujah filled with hope. The Church’s (as well as our own) experience of how long the three days between Good Friday and Easter Sunday may seem will be determined by God. Patience, love and awareness of his ways are three qualities that we may work upon in the meantime.