So here it is: soon it will be Holy Week, and the only thing running through your head is, “Where’d Lent go?” Maybe you never nailed down exactly what you were giving up, or your best efforts still came up short. If you’re anything like me, you’re wishing you could get a Lenten do-over… and this time take it more seriously.
Until next year, there aren’t any chances to go back to Ash Wednesday – but that doesn’t mean we’re out of luck. (With our God, how can we ever be truly lost?) We are now in the middle of the most important week of the Church year; it’s actually the most important week in history. Holy Week gives us a chance to walk the path with Christ from the Last Supper through His death and to the Resurrection.
But the world isn’t slowing down for Holy Week. Our teachers still give out homework, our jobs still have to get done, and our friends and family still have things for us to help them with. It can be easy – really easy – to let the Triduum fly by as just a few more days leading up to Easter.
If there’s anything you take away from this blog, let it be this: lean into Holy Week. Block out the last three nights of this week and plan on being at your parish. Experience the supernatural mystery of going to Mass while Christ is at the Last Supper giving us the Eucharist for the first time. Wait with Him in the garden as the night of Passover becomes the day of crucifixion. Walk the stations of the cross with Him, and venerate the tool of death that became our gateway to salvation. And wait, wait on that Holy Saturday as the Apostles did, not knowing what to do or where to go. Wait and pray, and rejoice with the universal Church in exuberance as Christ rises at the Easter Vigil like the dawning of the sun.
There is no greater time in the year to embrace the fullness and mystery of the Church. Even in the beginning of the week, every diocese will bless the holy oils of the Church and the priests – your priests – will renew their vows to serve the Bride of Christ with everything they have. If you’re ever going to ignore everything but God, now is the time. We have three days of absolute majesty. Let us pray that we can embrace every minute.