Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered! (Hebrews 5:8) Holy Week is the celebration of the Paschal Mystery of Jesus: His passion, death and resurrection. It is the culmination of His life, His public ministry fulfilling the mission given to Him by the Father. It is on the Cross that He reveals the boundless and infinite mercy of the Father. His supreme self sacrificial actions on the Cross reveal that God is pazzo d’amore with us that is, crazy in love with us.
Holy Week begins with the celebration of the Palm Sunday which is the commemoration of the triumphant entry of Jesus in Jerusalem. He knew that death awaits Him in the Holy City. Yet He was determined to fulfill the mission of His Father. He is radically obedient to the Father because He knows that God alone can save us. He is our atonement, sacrifice, ransom and reparation of our sins so that we are reconciled with God and restored to our original identity, created in the likeness and image of God. He alone can make us beautiful inside and outside.
Holy Thursday is the commemoration of the Last Supper which is the institution of the Holy Eucharist where He washed the feet of His disciples. The Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian life because it is in this celebration that we are fed with the best food that is, the Body and Blood of Christ so that we become what we receive. We are called to be another Christ in the world.
Good Friday is the commemoration of the Passion of Jesus on the Cross where He took upon Himself our brokenness and suffering. The Cross indicates the presence of evil in our midst. It represents our dysfunctionality, cruelty, infidelity, stupidity, betrayals, addiction, violence and everything that poisons, bites and harms us.
Easter is God’s response to evil in the world. His response is not destruction, vengeance and hate but new life and new creation. Jesus is risen from the dead because love alone is eternal. Death, evil and sin do not have the last word. God alone has the ultimate and last word. Holy Week is holy because we are restored to our original beauty. To be holy is to be formed according to the mind and heart of God not for our sake but for the sake of others.