Every time is a time of grace. Even during the current corona crisis, God has not turned off his grace tap. What special grace would He give us during Holy Week this year?
The Holy Week celebrations are all delights. We love these refined liturgies. They forge Christian community. Over the centuries, they have been polished and enriched with symbols, songs and gestures. They can make us forget that the first Holy Week, the one of Jesus with his disciples, went slightly differently. This was largely a story of fear, loneliness, stress, violence, betrayal, disillusionment, disbelief and loss. Both for Jesus and for his disciples. No way could they think of this as a time of grace par excellence. Improper to suspect that those miserable events would later be remembered and celebrated.
This also applies to Easter and the following days. In many of our churches, no hallelujah will ring this year. Well, that was also the case on the day of the Lord’s resurrection. The Gospel Appearances bear the unmistakable memory of the pain and despair of a community that had broken up. Think, for example, of the disciples on the way to Emmaus. Again and again it is the risen Jesus who takes the initiative to go to his defeated friends. It is the God-man Jesus, with the wounds of his martyrdom still visible in his body, who seeks out his disciples to comfort them and strengthen them in their shaky faith.
Could it be that there is a special grace here that is now offered to us? The grace to experience Holy Week more as Jesus and his disciples experienced it? In this way, our own isolation, fear, and insecurity can become a gateway to penetrate deeper into the core of Jesus’ experience: the only one I can fully rely on is God the Father. It is He who gives life, beyond the confines of death. In good days and bad.
Do I believe in that? How dare I entrust myself to Him? What helps me with that? What will take me away from Him? Where do I notice the traces of his love these days? How do these days help me separate the wheat from the chaff in my life?
If we are given to really receive this grace, then our hallelujah will come from very deep this year.
Nikolaas Sintobin SJ
Source: In alle dingen