A reflection on the joy celebrating Holy Week by Mother Maria-Michael Newe, OSB
But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me;
my Lord has forgotten me.”
Can a mother forget her infant,
be without tenderness for the child of her womb?
Even should she forget,
I will never forget you.
-Isaiah 49: 14-15
This reading from Isaiah reminds us that we are never forgotten. Everything is done, or allowed, for our good. But when you think of all the sorrows of Holy Week you might say, “How in the world is this about rejoicing?” Because Somebody has come to save us. We could not do it on our own. We couldn’t bear that weight. God alone could bear the justice; and so there is rejoicing. If Jesus were to go into a prison and say, “You are all free, because I’m going to undergo the death penalty for you,” I don’t think the prisoners would just shrug their shoulders. There would be a real sense of freedom and gratitude. Holy Week should bring gratitude for what He has done, and we should express that gratitude throughout each day. I’m sure you already tell Him many times throughout the day, “I love you, Jesus,” but maybe do it a little more. I think that’s what encouraged Him during His Passion. I read that at one point in His agony He heard all the voices throughout time expressing gratitude. Make sure your voice is there. Make sure He hears how grateful you are to serve and to love Him.
The Trinity holds nothing back, but pours forth abundantly and completely. We should marvel at that, because that is so unlike man. The world teaches us to protect ourselves, and hold all our cards so nobody can take them—but the Trinity lays them all out. Try to live at that supernatural level. Be brave enough to not hold back. Be brave enough to serve and to be the servant of all. That takes true courage, because it is not the way of the world. Climb. Always climb, and you truly will rejoice. When you die, you won’t be saying, “I wish I had…” You’ll be saying, “I’m so glad I did.”