THURSDAY, GOOD FRIDAY, SATURDAY
After our Lenten journey, we have arrived at destination: celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Holy Thursday’s liturgy invites us to a solemn event in Jewish liturgy and life: The Passover. The Passover is the celebration, remembrance of the event of the liberation of the Jews from the slavery in Egypt and the trip to the Promised Land – Canaan.
This is a solemn time for the Jews.
On Thursday, Jesus instituted the Eucharist, as a permanent legacy for his followers. In remembering the Lord’s Supper and the events of the following days, Christians are living out this legacy.
‘The Eucharist is the food that we need every day to nourish us on our spiritual journey. ‘
After this meal, which was joyful in its solemnity, Jesus the Servant, washed the feet of his disciples and challenged them to “love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:15). This challenge is also ours today.
Then Jesus goes out to the Garden of Olives (where the apostles often met) to pray. Jesus is arrested there and is handed over to the Roman authorities by the Jewish leaders to be crucified and put to death.
The darkness of Good Friday with the proclamation of the gospel of the passion and death of Jesus is indeed very bleak. All the hopes which the people had placed in Jesus as messiah give way to despair.The crucifixion and death of Jesus reminds us that what Jesus asks of us, he already experienced himself – suffering, abandonment, fear… However, he did not give in to despair but trusted his Father’s will right to the bitter end.
‘Christ became obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every other name.’ – Phil 2:8
Today, we are invited to the foot of the Cross to witness God’s ultimate expression of love and commitment to us.
With the absence of a specific liturgy on Holy Saturday we can live through a time of grief and confusion. But we do live in the hope of the resurrection on Sunday.
During the Easter Vigil, in the night of Saturday,we relive the great journey of the Jews to the Promised Land and the promise of the Messiah. On the Sunday, confusion and darkness change suddenly into wonder and the joy of Jesus among us once again and forever! Resurrection!
Throughout our lives, we can experience moments of darkness and light, despair and hope, love and manifestations of hate, betrayal and trust. The Resurrection gives us the hope that all will be well and that we can live through whatever, and become better persons in the process.
Our prayers are very powerful, since we all belong to the same family, the Communion of Saints, which I see as communion not only with the people in heaven, but also with every one living on this earth of ours.
May these three days of Triduum
be a powerhouse of strength,
courage, faith, compassion
and expanding love.