We friars subscribe to a monthly guide to the mass readings called “Give Us This Day,” and in the March issue, on the cover is an image from the 11th century of Christ’s entry into Jerusalem, on a donkey, and of course it is an image of Palm Sunday which we celebrate this weekend. Holy Week is this week, with all of its images: of Jesus and his apostles and their final meal together in an upper room in Jerusalem; the washing of the feet at that same meal; the scene of agony in the garden of Gethsemane as Jesus pleads that the cup of suffering be taken from him, and his acceptance of that cup; the way of the cross on Good Friday with its powerful scenes of suffering and abandonment; the sense of loss felt by the apostles after Jesus was taken down from the cross; and finally, after the long wait of Holy Saturday, the discovery that the tomb was empty, that death did not have the final say, that Jesus was raised from the dead.
So much of life is contained in that story – suffering, waiting, hoping, abandonment, sharing food and companionship among friends, remembering, rejoicing. We hear the story again this week. Here at St. Francis, we encourage you to enter into it with prayer and attentiveness, to see yourself somewhere in the story, to experience the wait and the hope, and, like the first disciples, the mysterious grace of a God who can sometimes seem hidden or absent, but who leads us from tombs to light.
Blessings on your week!