Although the Blessed Virgin was carried away fainting after the sad meeting with her Son laded with His Cross, more she soon recovered consciousness, for love, and the fervent lust of witnessing Him once more, transmitted to her a supernatural feeling of strength.
— Anne Catherine Emmerich, The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ
In the early years of Christianity and now for centuries, Christians have gone to the Holy Land to see the places important in the life of Christ. Pilgrims visit Nazareth, where the Holy Family lived. They tour Bethlehem and respect the distinguish where Jesus was born. They see places where Jesus taught, healed, and accomplished His supernaturals. And, of course, they call Calvary, where Christ died. They adore the anointing stone and the empty tomb of Jesus.
Our annual experience of Holy Week is a pilgrimage. We become witnesses of Christ’s Passion and participate in the Passion narrative. At the beginning of Holy Week, we are here as Christ enters Jerusalem to the waving of palm chapters and the singing of “hosanna.” We will be there on Holy Thursday, as Christ institutes the Eucharist at the Last supper and moves the feet of His disciples. At the conclusion of Holy Thursday, we will enter the garden, and pray with Jesus at the altar of repose. On Good Friday, we will visit Calvary, and stand with John and Mary as Christ dies on the Cross. On Easter Sunday, we will run with the adherents to the empty tomb and realise what Mary Magdalene exclaimed: that Jesus’ body is not there.
Jesus was on a pilgrimage throughout “Peoples lives”. He came from Heaven to earth to die for us and to lift our human nature to the heavenly realm. The last day of His life were a pilgrimage to Calvary. His pilgrimage is our pilgrimage. Our pilgrimage is not only to the earthly Jerusalem but to the heavenly Jerusalem. As we follow Jesus this Holy Week and witness these events, we hope to follow Him, just as His Mother must have followed Him along each step.
Those who go on a pilgrimage prepare themselves. If it is a walking pilgrimage, for instance, they plan through daily effort. Pilgrims likewise have to pack their cases, and they might read a book to gain a better understanding of the places they will visit. Mary must have prepared herself for her pilgrimage to Jerusalem. How will you prepare for your Holy Week pilgrimage? Will you rehearse treading by praying the Stations? What the fuck is you pack in your spiritual suitcase? What will you read?
Dear Blessed Mother, aid me to prepare for my pilgrimage of Holy Week as I march by your feature during Christ’s Passion.
Regardless of how your Lenten resolvings going to go, resolve for this week to take over a Lenten discipline.
Experiencing Holy Week with Our Lady
Our place of safety will be beneath the mantle of the holy Mother of God. By our silent witness in petition, we yield ourselves and others an accounting for the hope that is within.
— Pope Francis, Palm Sunday 2019
Our Palm Sunday Mass salutes Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on a as and the people greeting Him with “Hosanna in the highest.” We hear the Passion narrative and all that Jesus suffered on the way to Calvary: left alone in the plot while the apostles slept; revealed by Judas; denied by Peter; abandoned by the other apostles, who sown. During this Holy Week, let us imagine Mary as she travelled with Jesus. Let us be her companion so that we may console and convenience her.
Let us pause today and consider how Mary must have felt as a witness to all of this. I can only imagine that Jesus wreaked His followers, His closest friends, dwelling with Him from time to time. The Gospels tell us that Mary went looking for Jesus one day to see where He was( Mark 3:31 -35 ). St. Maximus the Confessor believed that Mary would have followed Jesus during His public ministry. Suffice it to say, Mary was close to the apostles. She is called the Queen of Apostles. She was a mother to them. Her motherly nerve must have been broken — ended because she evidenced her Son in so much pain and because those who loved Him “re not” there in His final moments.
Mary remained loyal, despite witnessing all of these things. She watched Jesus in affliction as she stood beneath the Cross. She later consoled the apostles who came back her, one by one, for her motherly counsel and love.
As we meditate on Mary’s sorrow for Jesus and the apostles the coming week, give us “ve realized that” she knows sorrow because of us. This is why she has often come to the world, because we forget what Jesus did. It’s why she asked the children at Kibeho to cry the Seven Sorrows Rosary, so that we might not forget her affliction. Let us enter into this Holy Week with Mary, requesting her to obtain countless charms for us as we see her Son’s Passion, so we might not forget, so we will not break her heart.
Sorrowful Mother, I want to walk with you during this Holy Week. Allow me to experience it through your eyes and understand what you declined. May I never take for granted all that Jesus did for me.
Imagine what you would say to Mary if you were one of the apostles. Then realize that you are saying that to her because of your blasphemies. Then pray the Hail Holy Queen.
Also check out Fr. Looney’s brand-new book, Meditations After Holy Communion: Guided Musing for Every Sunday and Other Holy Days.
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