The Canadian bishops write these words about Holy Week: “Holy Week is the week which precedes the great Feast of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday. It includes the last days of Lent and the beginning of the Easter Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday). During holy week, the Church celebrates the mysteries of salvation accomplished by Christ the last days of his life on earth, beginning with His messianic entrance into Jerusalem.” Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week provide special opportunities for us to share in the life of Jesus and His work. This is through focusing on the three virtues of faith, hope and love. . . one virtue for each of those days.
On Monday of Holy Week ask God to give you a deeper faith. Read the Gospel account of the man who said to Jesus, “Lord, I believe – help my unbelief.“ (Mark 9. 14-29) On Tuesday of Holy Week, ask God to give you greater hope – it is the fruit of faith. Pray one of the Psalms (ex. Psalm 3.2-6) On Wednesday of Holy Week, ask God to direct you to someone who needs reassurance. Out of love of God and neighbour, be present to the person with a kind set of words or actions.
These are some practical suggestions to build up some spiritual momentum in you for Holy Week. Please remember that Good Friday is a universal day of fast and abstinence. The Canadian Bishops write: “Christian fasting obtains its full meaning when we deprive ourselves of some food in order to be more open to prayer, to share more in the suffering of those who are starving, and to save money to give to the poor.” The law of fasting applies to those from 18 to 59 years of age. Abstinence means not eating meat. We do this to show our willingness to be with Jesus, thinking of the sacrifice of Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins. The law of abstinence from meat applies to those who are age 14 and older.
Fr. Stanley Galvon