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Gospel Reflection- What Makes Holy Week Holy?

Here we are again at the beginning of Holy Week, but what is it that makes Holy week holy? As we process into Church on Palm Sunday waving our palms or weaving them into crosses, it’s tempting to feel that this is all just a commemoration of the past. But if Holy Week doesn’t impact on our lives a little more with each passing year, then it really is just a story about something that happened a very long time ago.

It’s the very first ‘Palm Sunday’ and the excitement is growing like wildfire. Jesus rides into Jerusalem and his followers throw down palms and robes. Only Jesus seems aware that something is very wrong with this triumphant parade. The followers are misguided. They think that Jesus has come like some great military deliverer to overthrow the authorities. But in truth, Jesus doesn’t ride into Jerusalem on a stallion with great might and power, he rides into Jerusalem on a donkey and he comes in peace, humility and servitude. He comes to stand up for what he believes without any hint of compromise or aggression. He comes ready to lay down his life. He comes to show humanity what real love means and he brings the promise of his heavenly kingdom for all those who can realise his teaching.

Those original Palm Sunday crowds had a very poor grasp of what Jesus was about, and so it’s no wonder that by the end of Holy Week they had switched to shouts of ‘Crucify!” Like those original Palm Sunday Crowds we celebrate Jesus’ life, but we celebrate for the right reasons. Hopefully we are not celebrating someone we think can wave a magic wand and make everything right for us. Holy Week brings into sharp focus what Christianity should be about. Each year we endeavour to make Holy Week holy with greater insight and a greater maturity of faith. Each Holy Week we endeavour to become better ambassadors for Christ.