We start Holy Week with Palm Sunday. The liturgy starts with a procession of Palms and people singing Hosanna in the Highest. We are commemorating the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. The people are treating Jesus as a King, a Messiah, a Prophet. The liturgy begins in a very joyful way. Then at the Gospel time we read the account of the Passion and Death of Jesus. This is a huge contrast in one liturgy. From joy to sadness, from hope to despair.
Even the children and adults who cried ‘Hosanna’ did not fully understand what they were saying, or the nature of the journey that Jesus was taking. Was he encouraged by their praise?. The religious leaders tried to silence the crowds but Jesus replied that the rocks would take up the chant if the children were silenced. Jesus usually shied away from public hero worship but he allowed this and even said it should not be silenced. There are times when we too need to profess our faith in Jesus publicly and there are times when the occasion cries out for it. In Borehamwood we have a chance to publicly proclaim our faith in Jesus Christ as we have a ’Walk of Witness’ at 11.00am on Good Friday from the Baptist Church in Furzehill Road to St. Teresa’s Church in Shenley Road.
On the Thursday of Holy Week we have a very special celebration of the Last Supper, Maundy Thursday at 8.00pm in SSJF&TM. Here we celebrate the foundation of the Eucharist, the Mass as the ‘Source and Summit’ of our faith. This liturgy contains within it a very special ceremony -’The Washing of the Feet’. Here Jesus teaches us the very difficult commandment, the commandment to love. To love is to sacrifice, to be a servant to others. To take on the lowliest task to be of service to others. To love as I have loved you is to give your life for others as Jesus did. Real discipleship is true, humble service and should be the hallmark of our lived faith.
We move to Good Friday, a day of fasting in honour of the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus offering up his life so that we can be washed of our sins, once and forever. Our Liturgy is at 3.00pm in St. Teresa’s. We are confronted with the Cross. It is held up for us to look at, to bend before, and honour and kiss it. We are to share its power to redeem. We are invited to sink into the mystery of a crucified God whose love shares even into in the brutality we visit upon one another, yet cries out NO! We must confront the Cross and Christ in those among us who suffer. We are a people of the cross and it must be evident in how we live and love and share. The cross has redeemed us.
We move to the Easter Vigil on Saturday Evening at 8.00pm in St. Teresa’s. Here we celebrate the Resurrection, the coming to life, the rising from the dead of Jesus our Saviour. The reading traces our salvation history from Genesis to Jesus rising from the dead. All history has led us to this moment. Resurrection sends Jesus back into the world, and it send us back into the world, unafraid now. He is among the poor, the workers, those unjustly treated, and we are to stand with him and be his hands and feet, his eyes and ears. He cannot wait to come into our lives, he wants us to imitate him in our love and service. We are to draw others to him and the way of life that he has shown us. Ideal moment for people to come in to the Church.