FaithND is a web-source that “invites you to deeply know, love, and serve God — a Notre Dame tradition rooted in the Congregation of Holy Cross.” It aims to serve the "Notre Dame family with shared reflection, learning, prayer, and service to those most in need."
Holy Week is underway! It officially begins with Palm Sunday, and Monday's Gospel reading affirms the journey is well underway. I was asked to share response to it (featured below) which FaithND ran on April 14, 2014.
I have been humbled by the number of alumni who use the resource. I know because so many of them took a moment out of their busy day to share their gratitude, ideas and connection to it.
FaithND is but one spiritual discipline available at our fingertips. It is encouraging for me to know we are hungry for the Word and its relevance in our lives, for a community of faith that can break that open for us and the promise of Christ—to be revealed and relived this coming Sunday. But not before the way of the Cross....Happy Holy Week.
The spiritual discipline of Holy week is counterintuitive for me. As a coach and an athlete, tapering is a welcome and necessary practice before the championship game or meet. The physical and mental training developed over the course of the season is nearly complete. It is time to stay loose and rest. We run through but a few exercises, stretches and drills. We tell one another “we are ready.” However, today’s Gospel reminds us that preparation for Easter is different.
Our Lenten journey does not task us to abandon our sacrifices or rest as Holy Week begins. Quite the contrary, we are invited to go deeper and stay awake. The challenge will increase. The cross must be carried. Jesus’ message in today’s Gospel reminds me how difficult that will be.
Jesus shares a meal with his beloved friend Lazarus whom he raised from the dead. They linger; the Word tells us they “reclined at the table.” I love to put image to that moment: full bellies and conversation that only close companions can share—surely the intimacy of the evening prompted Mary to do what she did.
How the Lord must have savored this time, only to have the sacramentality of it disrupted by one of his disciples. Judas challenges the anointing of The Anointed. In response, Jesus proclaims what will be. He will die. He will be buried. He will leave us and many will suffer.
The crowd gathers and the plot thickens—to one of imminent danger and foreboding suspicion. This is not a time to taper; it is not time for resurrection. We must first undertake the way of the Cross.
Lord, give me the strength to walk with you this week.