Next week, we begin our final preparations for Easter: Holy Week. It’s during this time that we commemorate Jesus’ final moments of His life and public ministry. Prepare your heart in a greater way for the Easter Celebration by immersing into the entire journey. Below, you can find what events happened each day in Scripture and reflection questions to ponder as we humble ourselves for the biggest Solemnity of our year.
Sunday: Palm Sunday
Recap: Jesus and His disciples ride into Jerusalem amidst shouts of joy and praise, as well as Pharisees who demand that Jesus stop His followers from their worship. Jesus responds, “I tell you, if they keep silent, the stones will cry out!” (Lk 19:40)
Scripture: Luke 19:28-40
Reflection: Throughout our lives we can find ourselves acting like the disciples of Christ, and sometimes we find ourselves being the Pharisees. When have you been filled with awe at the glory of God? When have you seen others in that awe, but jealousy or rage has overcome you?
Monday: Holy Monday (Jesus Clears the Temple)
Recap: Jesus enters the temple to worship and finds merchants selling their animals to be sacrificed. Unnerved that His Father’s house has been cheapened to a mere market, he commands that they leave.
Scripture: John 2:13-17
Reflection: Sometimes when we make time to pray or attend the Mass, our body may be going through the motions, but our heart or mind is not truly given to the Lord in full worship or love. Jesus is present, but we are distracted by the things of the Lord. How often do you find yourself in the wrong state of mind? How can you clear the way for Christ alone?
Tuesday: Holy Tuesday (Jesus Foretells the Destruction of Jerusalem)
Recap: Jesus and His disciples climb the Mount of Olives, where Jesus tells His followers about the upcoming destruction of Jerusalem, her temple, and the people. He forewarns of the trials that will be suffered and the ways that they must endure it.
Scripture: Luke 21:5-19
Reflection: In our lives, we know that we will not be free from suffering, but we do know that Christ will accompany us through the suffering and shoulder the burden alongside us. He speaks of the hard times that await His followers while on the Mount of Olives. When we are faced with persecution or the temptation to not trust in the Lord and His ways, do we dismiss our faith in the Lord? Or do we patiently endure the trials with the grace of our God?
Wednesday: Spy Wednesday (Judas is Paid)
Recap: Judas is bribed by the chief priests and scribes to hand over Jesus that He might be killed.
Scripture: Luke 22:1-6
Reflection: Judas, although a seemingly loyal friend to Jesus, is quick to turn his back on Him when offered payment. Judas had been present during the public ministry of Jesus, he watched miracles, witnessed the divinity of Christ, and was a well-known friend of the Messiah. How often are we willing to give up Christ in exchange for more “exciting” plans, secular temptations, or easy solutions?
Thursday: Holy Thursday (Last Supper and Agony in the Garden)
Recap: As faithful Jews, Jesus and His disciples retreated to the Upper Room for the Passover Feast, what would come to be known as the Last Supper and the Institution of the Eucharist. It here that Jesus foretells His betrayals, and from here that He journeys to the Garden of Gethsemane before He is handed over to the Romans.
Scripture: Matthew 26:17-56
Reflection: Even though Jesus is actively loving and serving His friends, His heart is saddened at the fact that some will betray Him. As He is accompanied to the Garden of Gethsemane, He prays that the Lord might take this cup from Him, but only if it is the Father’s will. When we are faced with difficulty, how quick are we to blame the Lord for our downfalls? How often to do we beg for a resolution that is what we think is best, and not what the Lord wants?
Friday: Good Friday (Trial, Crucifixion, and Death)
Recap: Jesus endures the entirety of His Passion– His trial, scourging, carrying of the cross, death, and burial.
Scripture: John 18:1-19:42
Reflection: Read through the Scripture listed above and put yourself in place of the characters that encounter Christ. When have you let others denounce the Lord, like Pilate? When have you chosen something of this world over Christ, like the crowd and Barabbas? When have you been called in your heart to help someone endure a hardship, but didn’t rush to accompany them, like Simon of Cyrene?