OK, it’s not Palm Sunday, but I feel like Holy Week gets us to the epogee of the reflection effort, so skipping part doesn’t feel right. Kind of like how, when you’re watching a movie edited for TV, and it’s so badly hacked that you kind of wonder why the network even bothered to try to squeeze that particular movie into that particular time slot. When the plot holes are now so big that you’re just going to disappoint fans who were willing to suspend their disbelief, except now they don’t actually get the enjoyment of the movie like they were hoping when they tuned in, you made some poor choices as an editor. Child always tells us that we’re terrible when we watch movies that we own, so not only do we *not* have to suffer through the “Edited for time”, we also don’t have to watch commercials. But we do. Every week. Youngsters and their newfangled ideas these days, amirite??
But I digress.
One of the morning rituals I’ve been doing every day is to set intentions for the day and sometimes that includes a mantra to help keep me mindful. Sure, the practise of mantra originated in Hinduism and Buddhism, but my mantra are often of the RC pursuasion. “With God, all things are possible” features prominently. And for me, Holy Week is where the rubber reallyReally hits the road. My mantra can’t just be wishes that I throw into the day to grease the wheels of progress. My RC mantras, especially during Holy Week, need to provide guardrails when I bump up against people who have offensive things to say about my beliefs, or say they’re Christian but don’t act like it, or when I come to my own spiritual crossroads.
So with that in mind, I feel obligated to start at Palm Sunday and do the straight run through to Easter. Partly because I can partly recycle my thoughts from past posts (and the inspiration therein), but truly, this is the climax of it. This week is why I wanted to do the Spring Cleaning of my soul effort. So my Holy Week workflow goes like this:
- Review the last few years reflections and make some notes.
- Watch Pope Francis’ Palm Sunday homily and/or read his Holy Week message.
- I review my Pinterest Lent folder and my own Lent incubator for anything that I want to weave into my thoughts.
This is it, starting on Palm Sunday, it’s the final preparation. What will I do to welcome Jesus? What will I do to not deny Him when the Passion gets hard to watch?
So, to last year’s post, then:
Tomorrow, there won’t be a Palm Sunday mass. There won’t be palms blessed and distributed this year. It is truly strange times. Part of me wonders what we’ll do next year on Ash Wednesday, once Quarantine2020 is behind us. Please God let it be behind us by then.– Palm Sunday 2020
How optimistic I was – how optimistic we all were! We had no idea. I mean, sure, anyone who reads and enjoys soul-crushing post-apocalyptic fiction would have been twitchy with foreshadowing a year ago. But really, who could have guessed that a year later, we’d be social distancing and wearing masks, and not hugging our loved ones and attending weddings and funerals and beer o’clock over zoom. Now imagine if you did know it was going to be like this. Imagine if you knew how grave the situation was going to be for so many – sickness, economic hardship, emotional strain, and you had to walk into that willingly. No mask. No hand sanitizer. Knowing full well that you were walking toward your death. Knowing that if God said so, you wouldn’t have to do this. With God, all things are possible.
During Holy week at the best of times (READ: pre-COVID), I think about what kind of strength and love it took to walk into Jerusalem, have a fun holiday meal with friends who were blissfully ignorant of what was coming, and then just agree to be sacrificed.
This Lent, may my RC mantra be a source of strength when things get crunchy and it’s hard to find grace. Have a blessed Holy week, Friends.
I’ve created landing pages for the last 2 years of Lent Project. You can access them from the Reflections Projects option in the menu bar. Happy reading, friends!