Category Archives: Lent & Holy Week

Maundy Thursday

MandatumIn John 13:34-35 we read: I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

“Jesus represents the whole of his saving ministry in one symbolic act” ….It “signifies the whole of Jesus’ saving ministry”…”this humble gesture expressing the entire ministry of Jesus’ life and death…”

(J. Ratzinger, Jesus of Nazareth, p. 57, 72, 74; see “The Washing of the Feet” pp 53-75)

Spy Wednesday

Judas kisses JesusWe call today Spy Wednesday (the Wednesday of Holy Week) because it is the day on which the gospel reading for Mass (Matthew 26:14-25) is the one which speaks of Judas Iscariot acts as a spy for the Sanhedrin. The act of spying earned Judas 30 pieces of silver and thus he betrayed Jesus.

Pope Benedict once said, “Judas is neither a master of evil nor the figure of a demoniacal power of darkness but rather a sycophant who bows down before the anonymous power of changing moods and current fashion. But it is precisely this  anonymous power that crucified Jesus, for it was anonymous voices that cried, “Away with him! Crucify him!”

In another place the emeritus Pope wrote:

“His second tragedy — after the betrayal — is that he can no longer believes in forgiveness. His remorse turns into despair. Now he sees only himself and his darkness; he no longer sees the light of Jesus, which can illumine and overcome the darkness. He shows us the wrong type of remorse: the type that is unable to hope, that sees only its own darkness, the type that is destructive and in no way authentic. Genuine remorse is marked by the certainty of hope born of faith in the superior power of the light that was made flesh in Jesus.” (Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week, 69)

Let us pray as Saint Paul said: “At the name of Jesus every knee should bend…to the glory of God the Father.”

 

Palm Sunday procession

verso01bPope Benedict said,  “Our procession today is meant, then, to be an image of something deeper, to reflect the fact that, together with Jesus, we are setting out on pilgrimage along the high road that leads to the living God. This is the ascent that matters. This is the journey which Jesus invites us to make.”

From whatever our vantage point on the road, be sure to follow the path Christ has given you. You ought not avoid the given-ness of Providence.

Transfiguration

Transfiguration Raffaello“Jesus took Peter, James, and John
and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them…” (Mark 9:2)

Jesus takes them up Mount Tabor, “to show them the full truth about himself, about his divinity, so that they can have hope in eternal life and they remember this experience of divinity, of bliss, of eternity, when it comes time to suffer through the passion. In considering this scene at Tabor, we try to go to Jesus, to look at him, so that we may be enlightened. So that whether we are ill, suffering or dying– or sick and tired– we actually try to discover the Tabors behind the Calvaries” (Fr Javier del Castillo).

This gospel reading is reading twice per year: today on the second Sunday of Lent and in August on the feast of the Transfiguration. Do we recognize that Jesus is the center of our life of faith? Do we recognize that the death and resurrection of Jesus is the ultimate gift given to us that is foretold with this great of event personally experienced by Peter, James and John?

Detail of Raffaella’s “Transfiguration.”

Ash Wednesday

Lenten DisciplineAsh Wednesday the first day of Lent. On this day, the observance of fast and abstinence begins. Pope St. Leo teaches that the main purpose for fasting is not that the body be deprived of food, but that the mind at the same time be withdrawn from wickedness, we should endeavor during Lent, not only to be temperate in eating and drinking, but especially to lead a modest life, sanctifying the days by persevering prayer and devoutly attending the Church’s liturgy.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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