these holy Days.


The Triduum is here.

But wait, where did Lent go? Wasn’t it just Ash Wednesday, like, yesterday?

As we begin these holy days – Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and then EASTER! – I don’t have a huge insight on the struggle we are entering into. Instead, I’ve got a string of thoughts, not necessarily connected. Little musings for the days ahead.

Be the week. Be the days. Be holy. Be good. Be holy again. Then rise. Go forth. Sing it on the mountain tops. Don’t hide in the upper room. Be brave. Let the Spirit use you. Let Him set your heart on fire that you may speak in tongues of fire, unable to be quenched by anything this world throws at you. GO.

We all have a little bit of Judas in us. He gets a bad reputation, that guy. But if we are being honest, we all betray Jesus in some way. We sin. We turn our back and utter, “don’t look here, Jesus. I’ve got this. You go help that poor ole chap over there.” We take a little silver in whatever form it comes – money, fame, popularity, relationship – over following Him and believing Him, no matter how outlandish His claims may seem. But let’s not be Judas in the end. Instead, let us be like Peter, weeping when we realize the error of our ways. His mercy is there for each and every one of us.

I love Good Friday. Back home every year we put on the Passion Play where the teens act out the Stations of the Cross. For as long as I can remember we’ve used some form of Aaron Neville’s “Were You There” as we* portrayed the traditional station behind a silhouette and then a modern day interpretation of that same station in front of the screen. (*I say ‘we’ because I’ve acted in the Stations and helped direct it. No Good Friday is complete without Aaron Neville’s warble-y Were You There.) Where are you at in the Stations? Have you fallen down yet? Who is your Simon, the one who helps you carry the cross?  Who is your Veronica, the one who comforts you, wipes your face, and gives you courage for the rest of your journey?

How do you keep Christ on the cross? What sin do you keep returning to? Have you looked down at your own hands lately? Is there a hammer and nail in them? Is His blood on your hands? Go to confession. Bring light into the darkness. Let His mercy wash over you. Though your sins be like scarlet, He longs to wash you clean, that you would be whiter than snow.

Lean into the silence of Holy Saturday. It isn’t a day to be skipped over. It isn’t the little runt of the Triduum. There is merit to the silence, to the waiting. Sure, we know what is coming on Easter. The stone gets rolled away. The angel appears. The burial cloths are found. There is much rejoicing. But we aren’t there yet. Put yourself in the apostle’s shoes. Your best friend was murdered. What do you do now? Do you doubt? Do you demand proof? Do you scatter and flee? Do you hide away? Do you remember His promise to come back in three days or do you forget? You sit. You mourn. You wonder how you could have followed this man only to watch him die, seemingly for nothing. The rejoicing of Easter means so much less if you don’t understand the weight of the suffering, the agony of the loss that is His crucifixion. 

Let Mary hold you. I once heard it said that the true miracle of Mary is that she too didn’t die on Golgotha, watching her innocent Son be crucified. They take Jesus down from the cross and lay Him in her arms. That image tore me up inside long before I became a mom, and it only hits me harder now that I have kids of my own. Worn out and weary from the struggles we face in this life, let Mary hold you. Let her take you to her Son. Rest in her perfect motherly embrace. Find solace in her. Weep with her for Jesus. Behold your mother.

Be the days. Be holy {Thursday}. Be Good {Friday}. Be holy {Saturday}. Don’t skip over them just to get to jelly beans and bunnies. Endure the pain, appreciate the weight of the cross, the gravity of His sacrifice. And then, ah, then rejoice. Rejoice with all you’ve got.

May this offering stretch across the skies, these hallelujahs be multiplied…
In my heart you’ll always know there is a place only love can go, there is a place only you can go…

Won’t you take this cup from me
Because fear has stolen all my sleep
If tomorrow means my death
Pray you’ll save their souls with it
Let the songs I sing bring joy to you
Let the words I say confess my love
Let the notes I choose be your favorite tune
Father let my heart be after you
In this hour of doubt I see
Who I am is not just me
So give me strength to die myself
So love can live to tell the tale
Father let my heart be for you
For you
For you
For you…
{lyrics by NeedToBreathe – Multiplied/A Place Only You Can Go/Garden}

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