My brothers and sisters, once again the Church invites us to enter into these final days of the Lord’s earthly existence as we begin the Holiest Week of the Church’s year of grace. The liturgies of this week and most particularly the solemn liturgies of the Easter Triduum beginning with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday evening and culminating with the great feast of Easter next Sunday are days that invite us to enter into the meaning of the Lord’s death and resurrection for each of us.
Why was this good and righteous man nailed to the wood of the cross as a common criminal? Why the ambivalence of the crowds who in one moment cried out “Hosanna” and in the next “Crucify Him?” Why the cowardice of a few of his own followers whose love for him could so easily turn to “I don’t know the man” or betrayal with a kiss?
The dark side of humanity becomes all too apparent in the sacred story of this week - a story of betrayal, cowardice, and our inhumanity in the face of such goodness.
Each of us in our own way have been touched by the darkness of this world. Each of us in our own way have sadly contributed to that story of betrayal, cowardice and inhumanity.
Yet, the story and gift of this week is not to end in despair. But rather, the meaning of this week is the story of unconquerable love that is stronger than betrayal, cowardice, and death itself. It is a week in which we celebrate, as St. Paul reminds us today, the obedience of one who embraced the totality of our human condition - even death itself - so that we might come to experience the transforming hope and glory of a love that can make all things new. My brothers and sisters, this week will not end on Golgotha but rather will lead to the empty tomb that for 2000 years has spoken of unending hope because love is indeed stronger than death.
And so, may we enter this week with humility so that the grace and gift of his life may brighten the darkness of our lives and fill us with hope in the one who makes all things new by his cross and glorious resurrection.