Monday in Holy Week
Readings: Is 42:1-7. Ps 26:1-3, 13-14, R/ v 1. Jn 12:1-11. www.catholicbishops.ie/readings.
Our attention is now focused on the great mystery of Christ, dying and rising. The sense of impending doom hovers over the actions of Jesus. Like a lamb led to the slaughter, Christ does not cry out or shout aloud. Mary’s anointing becomes one of preparation of the body for burial after death. All things are being readied for the final hour. The chrism is prepared for blessing by the bishop this week: it will be used to sign new Christians with the Cross, to seal them for Christ. This sweet-smelling oil will remind them that they are, as Saint Paul says, to be the ‘aroma of Christ’ spreading a fragrance wherever they go. (2 Cor 2:14-15).
During Holy Week, the Church celebrates the mysteries of salvation accomplished by Christ in the last days of his life on earth, beginning with his messianic entrance into Jerusalem. The Lenten season lasts until Thursday of this week. The Easter Triduum begins with the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper. The days of Holy week, from Monday to Thursday inclusive, have precedence over all other celebrations.
End of Lent
It is fitting that the Lenten season should be concluded, both for the individual Christian as well as for the whole Christian community, with a penitential celebration, so that they may be helped to prepare to celebrate more fully the paschal mystery. These celebrations, however, should take place before the Easter Triduum, and should not immediately precede the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper.
“Holy Week is a good occasion to go to confession and to take up the right path again.”
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Stations of the Cross for Our Time
The Fourth Station: Jesus Meets his Mother
We Remember the Cross of Jesus
When Jesus and his mother meet
they just look at each other –
words cannot express how they
feel. What he saw in his mother’s
eyes must have hurt him more
than the raw pain of his wounds.
This for Jesus is the most painful
time of all. This is his
We Name the Crosses of Today
Jesus carries the heaviest burden of the loss of his
family; the sundering of the earthly, loving relationship
between mother and child. This was not of his making. The
violence inflicted upon him etched into the very heart of his
mother, as she watched the agony of her son.
We see Mary’s pain in the mothers and fathers who watch
their children giving up their life to drugs, addictions and
suicide, in the women and men who suffer violence and the
ongoing threat of violence in their home from spouse or
child. We see Mary’s pain in the child coping with the
breakdown of a parent’s marriage, in the couple trying
desperately to rebuild their relationship and family anew.
Jesus, we remember the gaze that rested between you and
your mother. In that moment of pain there was also a
moment of deep and enduring love. Jesus, give us the
courage to bring that love into the deepest recesses of our
homes, to our children and to our spouses, to those places
of fracture and disharmony in our circle of relationships.