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Making The Most Of Holy Week


 

As Lent draws to a close, it’s quite possible that full scale panic may begin to set in as you realize that you haven’t done all that much to take advantage of the season. If so, my advice to you is simple…

DON’T PANIC…IT’S NOT TOO LATE!

If you’re reading this, I’m fairly certain that you’re still alive (if not, I’d like to hear from you!) which means that you still have time to make some spiritual progress before Lent is over. The fact that you realize you haven’t done as much as you could have is a BIG step and is one that many people never seem to make. So let me be the first to congratulate you for having the desire to become a better person.

Two of the big themes during the Lenten season are awareness of our sinfulness and repentance. Naturally, we need to be aware of our imperfections before we can work on them. Take a minute and think about one or more ways in which you fall short of God’s plan for your life. Let me help you out with a few ideas…

Impatience
Anger
Excessive Worrying
Lack Of Charity
Over Sensitivity To Criticism

If you’d like to read more about these bad habits, you can do so here. Although this list is not all encompassing, every one of these bad habits will keep you from getting closer to Christ. Do you sometimes fall victim to one or more of these bad habits? Me too! Now what can we do about it? The first thing is to thank God for revealing this knowledge to us. Many people go through life without ever becoming aware of these issues. Secondly, I’d like to call attention to the fact that your Lenten journey just produced some fruit. Becoming aware of our own sinfulness is a BIG step to growing in holiness!

In a few days we’ll enter into Holy Week. During this Sunday’s Mass, we’ll hear the Passion of Our Lord proclaimed during the Gospel Reading (Luke 22:14-23,56). We’ll hear the details of Jesus’ last supper with the Apostles and witness the institution of the Holy Eucharist. The peace of that moment will be shattered by an argument as to which of them should be regarded as the greatest. We’ll listen with sadness as Jesus is not only betrayed by Judas, but by Peter. We’ll get to participate (reluctantly) by joining in with the crowd who wanted to put Jesus to death by proclaiming “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”. In commemoration of His death, we’ll kneel and acknowledge the supreme sacrifice made by the Lord on our behalf. Jesus’ lifeless body will be laid in the tomb and the story will end…for now.

Thankfully, the story will have a happy ending. The Lord will rise from the dead 3 days after that and complete the work of our redemption. In a little over a week, we’ll celebrate that joyous occasion. In the meantime, we’re asked to reflect on our own sinful behavior and resolve to make some changes. We’re also called to pick up our crosses and travel this final journey with the Lord.

As we commemorate the final week of Jesus’ life on earth, let’s make a serious attempt to rid ourselves of our bad habits and become more like Him. I’d also encourage you to participate in the activities of the Paschal Triduum, which begins on Holy Thursday and concludes on Easter Sunday. You’ll have the opportunity to participate in the Mass of the Last Supper on Holy Thursday, to remember the death of Our Lord on Good Friday and to celebrate His glorious resurrection on Easter Sunday. Whether you’ve done a little or whether you’ve done a lot during Lent really doesn’t matter at this point, as we can’t change the past. What matters is that we look ahead to this holiest of weeks and try to improve as we travel the journey along with Christ.

Here’s wishing you all a blessed Holy Week and a joyful Easter!

We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His. (Romans 6:4-5)

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