Due to the impact and threats of Covid-19, the beginning of Holy Week this year will be different from annual celebrations over many decades. Usual church ceremonies have been cancelled already around the world. People will miss gathering with others in their local parishes. Others of us are disappointed that Palm Sunday Marches for greater justice for refugees and asylum seekers are cancelled in many cities.
What new rituals or opportunities for prayer will we create in our communities?
Holy Week begins by reading and listening to Matthew 26:14-27:66. This is done with an awareness of the global community living with the threat of a death-dealing virus that can result in the untimely death of thousands, especially for those trapped in refugee camps, those deprived of access to safe water to wash in or drink, or those in forced labour where there is no care for their health or safety.
This is also done with an awareness of those who’ve been recently dealt the blow of unemployment or who live with the threat of losing a business or a home for which they’ve worked so diligently.
This week, as we enter into the mystery of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus who lived with threats of violence which ultimately led to his ‘untimely death’, may we make time to allow the Spirit of God to draw us more deeply into this mystery.
May we be open to the experiences of death and life unfolding in Nature, our world, Church and religious life as we’ve known them and even within our own personal lived experience.
The following reflection by Veronica Lawson RSM surely offers words of wisdom and faith to support us this Holy Week.