|Most of us realize, more or less vaguely, why this week of all the
weeks of the year, is called ¡§holy.¡¨ One could imagine a television reporter
stopping people in the street and asking why they thought this is
called ¡§Holy Week.¡¨ I suppose there are some who would hesitate for a
moment telling themselves that they ¡§never thought of it like that before.¡¨
If pressed, one imagines that many people would answer that ¡§Holy
Week¡¨ is so named because Good Friday occurs during it.
That reply is true, but inadequate. It is true because it puts the
spotlight on the sufferings and death of Jesus Christ, which we call to mind
on Good Friday. But it is inadequate for two reasons. The first reason is
that the spotlight ought to be placed not merely on Our Lord¡¦s suffering
and death, but on His Resurrection as well. That is how the Church sees
it. The second reason why the reply is inadequate is that it is not just
Good Friday that makes the week holy. The entire week is focused on the
sufferings, death and resurrection of Our Lord building up to a crescendo
on the last three days. Holy Saturday is the holiest celebration of all.
It is true, of course, that on certain days the main emphasis of the
liturgy is on the sufferings and death of Our Lord. On Holy Saturday and
Easter Sunday the emphasis is on the Resurrection. But this is only
because our minds cannot concentrate on everything all at once. It does
not mean that the elements not spotlighted are being excluded.
In the theatre, if one actor on stage is picked out by a spotlight, this
does not mean that the other people on stage are being excluded from our
attention. In fact, awareness of their presence could be vital to
understanding what the main character is saying or doing at that time. It
is like that in the liturgy of Holy Week.
The liturgy on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday focuses enormously
on the sufferings and death of Jesus. Holy Thursday emphasizes on first
celebration of the Eucharist. But we are never invited to leave the
resurrection out of our thoughts while meditating on Christ¡¦s sufferings and
death. Their significance would be lost without the resurrection.
A pilgrim was making his way to the Promised Land. He was carrying
his master¡¦s cross, a burden he cheerfully accepted. Becoming weary, the
pilgrim paused to rest. As he basked in the sunlight, he watched a
woodsman nearby hew a tree in the forest. ¡§Good friend,¡¨ called the
pilgrim, ¡§may I use your axe to shorten my cross? As I journey, it grows
heavier.¡¨ ¡§Indeed,¡¨ cried the woodsman, and, without hesitation, he
The pilgrim travelled on, making much progress. The cross was shorter
now, and his burden lighter. In no time at all, the Promised Land was in
sight. Drawing near, he say that a deep gulf separated him from the
glories beyond. He would use the cross to span the divide. Though he
struggled mightily to span the divide with the cross, it fell short by the very
amount he had removed.
Suddenly, with tears streaming down his face, he awoke; it had been
a dream. Clutching the cross to his breast, the pilgrim pressed on. The
cross was just as heavy, but its burden lighter.
God loves each of us as if there was only one of us to love. ~ St.
The most noble thing a human being can do is die for something
beyond himself...... Jesus said: Nobody takes my life, I give it freely.
The purpose of faith is to comfort the challenged and to challenge the
Helder Camera, Archbishop of Recife in Brazil was a champion of the
and dispossessed. He was capable of filling a whole stadium with young
people just to listen to him.
A reporter asked him how he reconciled such adulation with the call to
be a holy man of God? He answered, ¡§I¡¦m just like the ass that carried
Jesus into Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday. Few people see the ass,
most just see Jesus.¡¨ ...... So could you be the ass to carry Jesus?
Sunday Morning Ireland:
Log in to this religious programme going out to the world website
audience from St. Saviour¡¦s, Bridget Street, Waterford on Easter Sunday
morning and following Sundays.
Note our e-mail address. If you have any comments, criticisms,
insights, suggestions, we would be pleased to hear from you.
Priory Shop - Easter schedule:
Please note that the shop will be closed for Easter, i.e. Good Friday,
Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday and Monday. There will be no business
transacted at all during those days from the priory door. Please
understand that this arrangement is to honour the very holy character of
our Easter feast.
HOLY WEEK CEREMONIES
Mon. Tues. Wed.:
Masses: 8am & 10.30am
Confessions: 10 -10.30am
7.30pm - Mass of the Lord¡¦s Supper.
Confessions: 6.30 - 7.25pm
Celebration of the Lord¡¦s Passion.
Confessions: 11 - 12noon
3 - 4pm
7.30pm: Stations of the Cross.
8pm: Easter Vigil.
Masses: 7am, 10.30am & 12noon
Mass: 10.30am only.
Good Friday is a Day of Fast and Abstinence.