As I reflect on this past Holy Week and our Easter celebration I keep returning to the question, “Do I understand Holy Week?” The short answer, and perhaps the most honest, is no, not really. I know the story. I even preach the story. I can describe the events of Holy Week but there is much I do not understand and what I do understand I hold pretty lightly. That seems to be the way of authentic mystery. It must always be held lightly otherwise it slips away.
The invitation of mystery is not so much to seek a solution, understanding, or explanation as it is to invite participation. Through the liturgies of Holy Week we participate in the mysteries of Christ’s life, crucifixion, and resurrection even if we do not understand. Participation does not necessarily require understanding. After all how many of us really understand or can explain love?
So I showed up and trusted the liturgy. That is what I did each day throughout Holy Week. What more is there to do? I prayed, I carried the palms, I washed feet, I ate the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, I extolled the glory of the life-giving cross, I sat in silence and darkness at the tomb, I vigiled in darkness and rejoiced at the new fire, the new light, the new life that had been kindled in me. I allowed the liturgy to carry me through the mysteries of the week. And it was enough. It was enough to show up, to participate, and to trust the liturgy. I may not fully understand the story of Holy Week but I absolutely know it to be true. Once again the liturgy has done its work. Christ is risen!
So what was your experience of Holy Week this year?