Walking the way of the Cross
In Christian tradition, Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday and carries on through Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.
It is a time for Christians to reflect on Jesus’ journey to the Cross, beginning with his triumphal entry into Jerusalem and concluding with his lonely trek from the Upper Room through Gethsemane and ultimately to Calvary and the empty tomb.
During the three years of his public ministry Jesus had been in control. He was very much a man of purpose, traveling from village to village, teaching, healing and announcing the arrival of God’s kingdom. He had come and gone as he wished.
But when he was handed over to his enemies in the garden of Gethsemane, all this came to an end. Now everything was out of his control. Things were now done to him rather than by him. He was an object in the hands of others.
He had to allow himself to be taken where he would rather not go. He was like a lamb being led to the slaughter (Isaiah 53:7). Denial, betrayal and false accusations all followed.
He was interrogated, scourged, crowned with thorns, given a cross to carry, stripped of his clothes, nailed to the Cross, mocked and finally died.
For Jesus, there could be no ducking the Cross. The Cross was not a tragedy. It was not a derailment of God’s plan. Rather, the whole story from the very beginning had been leading up to this moment.
The very act by which the world tried to get rid of Jesus would turn out to be the act by which salvation would be offered to all people.
We have a long journey ahead of us before we arrive at the joy of Easter morning. Together, the services of Holy Week—Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Day—form an extended celebration of the victory Jesus won over death.
I look forward to journeying with you this Holy Week as we walk the way of the Cross.
The cross is our most precious symbol.
It is the first sign put on us in Baptism.
Many people wear a cross around their neck.
The cross stands atop our churches
and will stand vigil over our graves.
The cross is a symbol of hope and love.
It is a symbol of love because it reminds us
that Jesus laid down his life for us.
And it is a symbol of hope
because we see it in the light of Easter.
(From: New Sunday & Holy Day Liturgies FlorMcCarthy SDB)