IN A wink of an eye, we have celebrated the holiest of all weeks of the year – the Holy week.
Preparations bring us back to Ash Wednesday, February 14.
Each Catholic was imposed with an ash to remind of the days of preparation for the Paschal mystery of Jesus. Ash Wednesday opened the Lenten season.
The whole season of Lent, like Advent, everyone is given the opportunity to reflect and prepare for the resurrection. Lent prepares everyone for the Easter. Easter season begins after the holy week.
A missionary recently shared to me a clear view of the celebration of the holy week. He told a group of “apostles” to see the whole three days (triduum) in a myopic view. We should view these days as one full story of God’s Paschal mystery.
The washing of the feet should not be seen as a mere re-enactment but should be seen as being with Christ and really having your feet washed by Christ.
The faithful are represented by the 12 apostles on the altar.
In fact, at the Oratory of St. Nicholas of Tolentino, UNO-R, where I was one of the 12 apostles this year, Fr. Persiuz Decena, did not turn his back from the congregation during the washing of the feet but did it side view for the faithful to see ceremony and understand the meaning of the ceremony.
Then the apostles were asked to look for a member of the congregation to have their feet washed by the 12 apostles. We have to put ourselves in the place of the apostles during the last supper. The altar is then transferred after the mass for the vigil. Here, we share with the feeling of Christ as he awaits his capture and judgment. The main altar is stripped.
During the time of Christ, in the last supper, there was already a feeling of uncertainty among the apostles for they do not understand the language of the time. Jesus was like leaving them with his last will and testament. He was also prophesying the events to come – betrayal of Judas and denial of St. Peter. The prophecies of the Scriptures are unfolding and they wanted more of Jesus. He broke the Bread with them. After the supper, Jesus proceeded to the garden to pray to the Father.
The Good Friday event opens with the way of the cross (via crucis). We journey with Christ on his way to the Cross. The Seven last words resounded in the whole Catholic nation. One could hear the stories of conversion, healing, and reconciliation shared to all. It ends with the death of Jesus. This is followed by the veneration of the holy cross.
From Holy Thursday until the beginning of the Easter vigil, the whole Christian nation is in turmoil and fearful. Fear lurks within the Church. It seems that we have no one to turn to. Christ is not in the midst of the apostles. They have no one to confer or talk to.
On Easter morning, the news breaks that Jesus has risen from the dead. When one understands the passion and death of Christ, one feels the triumph of Easter. This is the triumph over death. Everyone who believes in Christ will have eternal life.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!