Tuesday, April 19, 2011

P is for the Passion of Christ

In the Catholic Church, we've just begun Holy Week - the week leading up to Easter. It started with Palm Sunday - a beautiful, tradition-filled Mass, with all the congregation holding palms in remembrance of Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem. Extra blessings, readings, and focus was put on this week, and what we can do to prepare for Easter.

Families handle Holy Week differently. Some turn off the tv and computer. Others go to church more often, say more prayers, perhaps fast or abstain from desserts or treats. Growing up, my family went to the Triduum each night for Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil. We kept Good Friday very solemn and holy.

For those of you not too fond of the Catholic Church, let me shed some light on why we do these things:

We don't make sacrifices because we like to be miserable.
Or because we feel we have to beat ourselves to be good.
We don't do this to guilt trip each other and other people.
We don't do it just because it's what the Big Bad Church has forced us into doing.

We do this because Christ went through crap during this week. He went through more misery and pain than any of us could imagine. (You think you have it bad sometimes? Do some research about Roman scourgings and crucifixions...I bet your life will look pretty nice afterward.)

We do this because Christ loved us.  He loved me, and you, and everyone you can think of, so much that He endured all of this for us. 

Here's what I think: by sacrificing and meditating on Christ's Passion, we become closer to Him. We start to understand how much love He has for us. By bringing Him inside our hearts, and with His passion filling our minds, we naturally want to be better people. We want to live good lives, be charitable, forgiving, and gentle. We want to do this because we realize how beautiful our Savior is, and it makes us want to be as amazing as He is. 

But it all starts with Him; it starts with what He did for us.

Even if you're not Catholic, Christian, or anything, you can still read or think about this week's events. It certainly won't hurt you. To think that a Man, over 2000 years ago, chose to die just for you because He knew you were worth it...

It certainly makes me feel very humbled. 


N. R. Williams said...

Nice to meet you Maggie. It sounds to me like you have experienced Christ and enjoy His presence. We should all be so blessed.
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

i.ikeda said...

My family had some crazy traditions for Holy week, especially Saturday before Easter. You're right, Good Friday was always very solemn and somber. There was a lot of praying and reflecting. But one day I'll tell you about our Saturdays before Easter............ I sometimes wonder if any of us had a chance of turning out ok.

ps.: you should check out my friend Brianna's blog. I think you'd really like it. She's the mom of a toddler like us, and she's a super talented writer. She's doing each letter as a blog written by a Bible character. It's really cool: http://pocketfulofplaydough.pageek.com/wordpress/

Created2bholy said...

This is my favorite! Beautifully said!

Natalie said...

<3 I keep trying to remind myself of that - and that it doesn't matter WHAT we do this week (we'll be lucky if we even get to color eggs this year because I've just been feeling so awful, let alone do anything else special) but as long as we keep the reason for this most important season in mind... Jesus wasn't all about making special eggs and bread and pretty baskets... and I'm sure there were people throwing up at His Passion, so if that happens to me... well, then, it happens. ;) The traditions help our kids focus more on the real meaning of Easter, so I do hope they can at least do some with Daddy. But whatever happens... the most important thing is that they (and we) know how much Jesus loves them, that He died for each one of them.......

Colleen McSheffrey said...

thanks maggie! hope you have a wonderful and holy Holy Week! I'm sure the Tridium will be beautifully celebrated at the basilica!