Holy Week call to Step Outside Ourselves
“Holy Week challenges us to step outside ourselves so as to attend to the needs of others: those who long for a sympathetic ear, those in need of comfort or help. We should not simply remain in our own secure world, that of the 99 sheep who never strayed from the fold, but we should go out, with Christ, in search of the one lost sheep, however far it may have wandered.
“Holy Week is not so much a time of sorrow, but rather a time to enter into Christ’s way of thinking and acting. It is a time of grace given us by the Lord so that we can move beyond a dull or mechanical way of living our faith, and instead open the doors of our hearts, our lives, our parishes, our movements or associations, going out in search of others so as to bring them the light and the joy of our faith in Christ.” Pope Francis, General Audience, 27 March 2013
It is easy to think of Holy Week as a time of sorrow – we remember the last supper, the passion and death of Jesus, the despair of the Apostles as Jesus is laid in the tomb. Certainly these are solemn commemorations. But we know how the story develops on Easter Sunday, and that story is ongoing. That story continues to call us outside ourselves to enter more deeply into Jesus’ way of thinking and acting.
As we move through Holy Week, let us pray with Pope Francis for the grace to open the doors of our hearts and lives to attend to the needs of others.