Holy Week is our week to ask about our love, about how much we love him. It is our week to ask ourselves how much we really follow him. There are thousands of little escapes that we can indulge in, that will make it appear that we are following him when we are not. It is our week to find out if we have kissed a friend in the way Judas kissed God. We can do that hypocritically, to earn human respect.
It is a week of examining ourselves. Not with a sort of a cold, intellectual examination of conscience to count our sins. That is not important; his infinite mercy will cover our sins if only we cry out to him for it. No, it is our week to find out how little we love, or how much. And no matter how much we do love, it is our week to cry out to the Lord to learn to love him more.
It is a fantastic, incredible week, in which we are allowed to see how much God the Father loved, how much God the Son obeyed the Father, and also loved us. It is the week of the Spirit: “I have endowed him with my Spirit” (Mt ).
Each minute, each hour, each day of this week is a pilgrimage interiorized, a journey inward, to meet the Triune God who dwells within us. But also to follow Christ, to follow him from the moment of the changing of the bread and wine, to the stone of agony in the Garden, to the departure of all his disciples—the whole seen like a movie that is constantly before our eyes.
The path is clear. Christ made it; we cannot miss it. There are drops of blood along it, in the sands of time. We must follow them. This is the hour of us breaking all the vases we have in our hearts and spilling upon his feet all the perfumes we ever accumulated throughout our lives. What use have we of perfumes when we have God?
Catherine de Hueck Doherty, Season of Mercy
Reflection – This is such a clear, confronting, challenging meditation that I am inclined to add very little of my own thoughts to it. John of the Cross wrote that in the evening of our lives we will be judged on love alone. It is ultimately and utterly the only question any of us should ask ourselves: do I love as Jesus loved? And, if not, how can I grow in love?
All else falls away. Politics and economics, controversy and debate, personal wranglings and jealousies and conflicts. Do I love as Jesus loved, to death, unreservedly, holding nothing back, unconditionally? And if not, what am I going to do about that?
Nothing else matters. And Holy Week is the week of the great question, the great beholding of this love and the great call to receive it and the gift of salvation it brings, and to live it by the power of His Spirit.