“The Holiest Week of the Year”
By Father Frank Hernandez
It is hard to believe that we are already at the end of the month of March and at the end of our Lenten journey. We will soon celebrate Holy Week, which is the heart of the church year. The word “holy” in Holy Week highlights this week as unique and most holy in our life of faith as Christians. In our tradition as a church, we observe the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus in Jerusalem.
We journey with Jesus during these events of our salvation. Welcoming Him on Palm Sunday and saying Hosanna as He enters Jerusalem. Being a part of the Last Supper where He establishes for us the Eucharist; going to the garden to pray with Him and also His arrest. Good Friday we walk with Him to Calvary to die on the cross for our sins and to give us His resurrection, so we can be reunited with the Lord again in His heavenly glory. A week for us to truly celebrate our faith and remember who we are called to serve and have a relationship with too.
For some of us it is an emotional and spiritual week to walk with Jesus and participate with our hearts, lives and faith in the climax of who we are as Christians. Like last year, this year’s Holy Week will be different. In the middle of Lent 2020, is when COVID-19 affected our lives and it took away our celebrations in the church, it changed how we lived our lives and faith. I am thankful that we can celebrate as a community in 2021, though we do have some limitations still due to COVID, but we can journey with Jesus to the cross again.
How can we still make this Holy Week special? How can we still grow in our faith with the limitations due to COVID? This last year has taught me an important lesson of faith. That no matter what happens around us in our lives or the world, Jesus and the Lord are still active in our lives. He is always walking with us and waiting to give us a hug when we do pray and come to Him. This last year has been difficult for all of us and many of us may have questioned our faith wondering, “where is God in all of this?” God’s response in 2019, 2020 and 2021 has always been, “I am here, knock and the door will open.” He is waiting patiently for us to share His love. A love we experience with Jesus during Holy Week as we walk with Him to His death on the cross, but more importantly to His resurrection at Easter where we are able to return to God in heaven.
Holy Week is a time for us to grow in our faith and to walk with Jesus to the Easter celebrations. How can we grow closer to the Lord during this Holy Week and prepare ourselves for our salvation.