Palm Sunday and Holy Week.

Palm Sunday and Holy Week.

The Hour has come.

The holiest week of the year is so rich in ritual and readings that we might almost be overwhelmed. Jesus found the apostles sleeping in the garden, and told them that they should be awake and praying. In the busyness of this week, it is crucial for us to be conscious of what the Lord is undergoing for us, and to pray with him.

Each day’s reading comes as usual from the readings of the Sunday, and since the Gospel is the Passion of the Lord from Luke’s Gospel we can reflect on the events as they unfold. As we enter into this Hour of salvation, let us ask the Lord to teach us to listen as a disciple.

As you begin these reflections each day spend a few moments repeating the phrase “Speak Lord, your servant it listening.” Then read the short passage from Sunday’s readings until you have memorised it. Read the questions and give yourself time to deeply consider your response. Once you have reflected for a few minutes, speak to the Lord, as you would to a friend, about what you have reflected upon.

Sunday.

The whole group of disciples joyfully began to praise God at the top of their voices for all the miracles they had seen. They cried out: ‘Blessings on the King who comes, in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest heavens. (Luke 19:37-38)

  • What miracles have you seen?
  • When have you found it easy to praise the Lord?
  • Reflect on heavenly peace and where you need it.
  • What is God response to your praise?

 

Monday.

So that I may know how to reply to the wearied he provides me with speech. Each morning he wakes me to hear, to listen like a disciple. The Lord has opened my ear. (Isaiah 50:4-5)

  • What is your morning prayer time like?
  • Who is wearied in your life that the Lord wants you to speak to?
  • When has the Lord opened your ears?
  • Listen to the Lord now like a disciple.

 

Tuesday.

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me (Psalm 21:2)

  • Remember times when you have felt forsaken.
  • How does it feel to hear these words on the lips of Jesus?
  • What are the “why” questions that you want to ask God?
  • What is the Lord saying to you about your feelings of forsakenness?

 

Wednesday.

His state was divine, yet Christ Jesus did not cling to his equality with God but emptied himself to assume the condition of a slave, and became as men are, and being as all men are, he was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross. (Philippians 2: 6-8)

  • Reflect on the divinity of Christ who emptied himself for you.
  • Reflect on the acceptance of death on the cross for you.
  • Reflect on the humility of God who comes to you.
  • Listen to the Lord telling you why he did all this for you.

 

Holy Thursday.

He took some bread, and when he had given thanks, broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body which will be given for you; do this as a memorial of me.’ He did the same with the cup after supper, and said, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood which will be poured out for you.  (Mark 22:19-20)

  • Reflect on the place of the Eucharist in your spiritual life.
  • What do you experience when you eat and drink Holy Communion?
  • Reflect on the Blood of Christ being poured out for you.
  • What is the Lord saying to you as he comes to you in Holy Communion?

 

Good Friday

‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ Jesus replied, ‘Indeed, I promise you, today you will be with me in paradise. It was now about the sixth hour and with the sun eclipsed, a darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. The veil of the temple was torn right down the middle, and when Jesus had cried out in a loud voice, he said, ‘Father into your hands I commit my spirit’. (Luke 23:42-46)

  • Make the prayer of the thief your own.
  • Accept the Lord’s promise to the thief as your own.
  • How do you experience the closeness of the Lord today?
  • Spend a moment gazing at a cross and hear Jesus commit his spirit for you.

 

Holy Saturday

Meanwhile the women who had come from Galilee with Jesus were following behind. They took note of the tomb and of the position of the body. Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments. And on the Sabbath day they rested as the law required.  (Luke 23:55-56)

  • Imagine yourself part of the group of faithful women.
  • When have you had to prepare for a funeral?
  • Have you ever felt a sense of failure and loss?
  • At the silence of the tomb, listen for the voice of the Lord.
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