My dear brothers and sisters,
We celebrate in our lives the mystery of our salvation: we suffer, we fall, we get up and we continue to pursue our goals. When we try to explain our lives or how we have arrived at present moment, it is difficult to understand or explain if we only make reference to the present. Indeed, our past goes a long way to explain our present, just as the present does for the future. It is the same with our faith. We cannot explain one event in the history of salvation without knowing, reflecting, and understanding the past. And that is precisely what we are doing during Holy Week; we seek to understand and live again the mystery of our salvation (Easter), a mystery that can only be grasped in the context of all the events of the week.
The major event of the Lord’s Resurrection (Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday) follows his Death (Good Friday); His Passion and Death were announced at the Last Supper (Holy Thursday) in which Jesus left us the most beautiful teachings.
The last three days in the life of Jesus, who was and is both divine and human, were not like days in the life of any other person. They were the fulfillment of a plan of salvation that started long ago with the promise to Adam and Eve, the covenant made with Abraham and his descendants, and that have come to us through all of the prophets until that moment in which the Son of God was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, his mother and our mother.
The three years of Jesus’ public ministry of preaching, teaching found their conclusion in the Lord’s Suffering and Death; but that Death was not to be the end. Rather, Jesus’ ultimate fate was Resurrection. Because of this, although we all participate in our Easter celebration, to understand truly the fullness of the mystery of the Resurrection, we must also engage in our commemoration of Passion-Death-Resurrection, that is the totality of the Sacred Triduum (the “three days”).
If you have not previously participated in these celebrations – the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper (Holy Thursday), the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion (Good Friday) and the Easter Vigil (Holy Saturday evening), I really encourage you to share in them. They are like no other Masses; in fact, the celebration of the Lord’s Passion is on the only day on which throughout the whole world there can be no celebration of Mass.
Please come and join us. Join the entire Church this Holy Week.