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A Different Kind of Holy Week

I write this on Saturday morning just before we celebrate Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday begins Holy Week with our celebration of the Easter Triduum culminating in the Resurrection of Jesus.

This year Holy Week will be like no other Holy Week before. When it came time for Jesus to enter into Jerusalem for his Passion (the first Holy Week), He received a royal welcome (Matthew 21:1-11) as the “crowd spread their cloaks and cut branches from the trees.” The key word here being “crowd.”

There will be no crowds to welcome Jesus this year. We continue to stay at home to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. We do this to protect God’s people against the Coronavirus.

However, the fact that we cannot gather physically together in church does not prevent us from welcoming Jesus into our lives. We are fortune to have Masses on TV and online. I encourage you to watch the Masses and Good Friday Service this week as part of your continuing welcoming of Jesus into your life.

We are called to welcome Jesus into our hearts. We are called to welcome Jesus into our homes. Here, the Church speaks of our homes being a “domestic church,” the first place we experience our faith.

We read in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “It is in the bosom of the family that parents are “by word and example…the first heralds of the faith with regard to their children… It is here that the father of the family, the mother, children, and all members of the family exercise the priesthood of the baptized in a privileged way, “by the reception of the sacraments, prayer and thanksgiving, the witness of a holy life, and self-denial and active charity.”  Thus the home is the first school of Christian life and “a school for human enrichment” (1656-7).

What can we do to welcome into our homes, making our homes a “domestic church”?

It starts with watching Mass on TV or online. In doing so, we open ourselves to all that God offers us. We make an Act of Spiritual Communion (see my article “Our Desire for the Eucharist“). To continue to open ourselves to the Lord we can read the Bible, say grace thanking God for the meal He has given us, we can a Rosary and/or other devotions.

We can also create a physical space in our homes for God.

It doesn’t have to be complicated or big. Above you see my little shrine. There is a Crucifix and a Bible as well as some other spiritual artwork. Often people include statues when making a space for Jesus (if you don’t have religious items already in your home, you can purchase them online). Use images that lead you to Jesus. Sit before it as you pray.

For those who already have a dedicated physical space for Jesus, I encourage you to spend a little time there praying for those who don’t. Pray that our prayers and the witness of our lives help lead all to Jesus.

Peace,

Fr. Jeff

One Comment

  1. Thomas House says:

    We watch mass daily on TV, Catholic TV, keeps us connected to the church and God, besides our daily prayers. It is part of our daily routine, which is a great way to start our day. Not quite the same as going to St Luke’s for mass, but so grateful that it is available for us during this difficult time of separation from mass and the eucharist.

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