March 26, 2013

Traveling with Jesus to Jerusalem

To participate in Holy Week is to face to the fullness of the life and death drama that is the passion of Jesus.    At the center of Holy Week Drama are Jesus and his journey to the cross which ends or seems to end, with his death.  As much as Easter is about resurrection and new life, the days preceding it, are about death and loss and tragedy.    

Holy Week will not allow us to look away from the reality of death in our lives, whether it is that final dying to this world or the thousands of little deaths we experience throughout life, the accumulation of losses and sorrows in the living of our lives. 

Holy Week is an invitation to walk with Jesus the fullness of his journey to Jerusalem, the upper room, Gethsemane, and Golgotha.  We walk this road with Jesus because in so doing we understand something more about our own fears and sorrows, the betrayals and rejections, the need to surrender, as well as the courage and strength discovered in the face of great and serious difficulties in the living of life and in the final dying to this life. 

As you journey with Jesus in the story of the Passion and the liturgies of this Holy Week see how he makes his way.  How much is he like you and me?  In his fear, his despair, his questions, his reluctance to trust God, are there images of you?   And in his courage and humility and love and his final surrender to trust in the goodness of God, in the promise that God is with him even in death, are these hopes found also in you?  

The drama of Holy Week is a microcosm of the drama of human life.  In the journey Jesus took we see the mystery of our own journey open up.  It is the pattern of life Christians call the Paschal Mystery, that deep paradox in life, writes Frederick Buechner, where we

“We find by losing.  We hold fast by letting go.   We become something new by ceasing to be something old…Out of nothing God creates Something.  Out of the End God creates the Beginning.”