As we step into Holy Week, so too do we arrive, with the Lord, at the doorstep of Jerusalem. From this transition, a tension builds as we are caught between the familiar discomfort of our deserts, and the road to Calvary. Just as Christ was afraid before He was to suffer, we are also confronted by our own fearfulness – of suffering and pain; of loss, uncertainty, and abandonment. In this ongoing confrontation, it becomes increasingly tempting to slip into despair, and succumb to hopelessness.
However, Pope Benedict XVI encourages us to keep our eyes on the Lord. He writes that the Cross “speaks to all who suffer…and it offers them hope that God can transform their suffering into joy, their isolation into communion, their death into life.” In Christ, the weight of our sin and shame is replaced by His overwhelming, and limitless love. In this very love, we are invited to unite our hearts with Him, to draw close and experience the redemptive, transformative, power of Christ and His sacrifice.
This Holy Week, let us choose Calvary over our comfort zones. Think of Simon of Cyrene, in his great reluctance, who was chosen to help Christ bear the weight of the cross. In a similar way, we too are chosen – called to move out of ourselves, to surrender our desires, and to cooperate with Grace –– to walk the way of the Cross with the Lord.
For through the Cross, the darkness of sin has now been illuminated by the light of Christ’s mercy. And despair is triumphed by an enduring, and eternal, hope. Where there was death, the fullness of life now springs forth.
Reflection Question: Bring to mind areas of struggle that you find difficult to step out of in prayer. Ask Jesus to lead you in surrendering these areas of your life to Him today. Commit to one small achievable action that you can do everyday to deepen this surrender.