Journey Through Holy Week
In a homily, Saint Gregory Nazianzen encourages us,
"We must sacrifice ourselves to God, each day and in everything we do, accepting all that happens to us for the sake of the Word, imitating his passion by our sufferings, and honoring his blood by shedding our own. We must be ready to be crucified."
As we prepare to journey through Holy Week, let us consider the saints who walked alongside Jesus in his passion and death, and reflect on how we might be like them.
Will we be like Simon of Cyrene, who helped Jesus carry his cross? How might we help Jesus carry his cross as we accompany people in their sufferings?
Will we be like the good thief, who acknowledge Jesus as the Christ? How do we recognize the Divinity of Christ in our midst, in our own sufferings?
Will we be like Joseph of Arimathea, who risked his life to ask Pilate for Jesus' body, then gently took Jesus to the place of burial? How do we care for Christ's broken body and help our brothers and sisters to find rest in their sufferings?
Will we be like Nicodemus, who once came to Jesus at night and now anoints his body for burial? How are we a balm for others in their sufferings?
Will we be like one of the Mary's, or Salome, or Joanna, who never leave Jesus' side and weep for Christ at the foot of the cross, and who are the first witnesses of Christ's Resurrection? How do we continue to weep for Christ as we weep with others in their sufferings? How are we witnesses to Christ's resurrection in the hope we offer people in their sufferings?
Let us walk with Jesus through this Holy Week. May we commit to sacrificing ourselves in order to open our hearts and lives to accompany all those who suffer in our families, our communities, and our world. May we offer our sacrifices with the great hope that any suffering is a seed to resurrection and new life.