Monday in Holy Week

Holy Week is upon us. It isn’t Easter quite yet; this is the final week in Lent and it is deeply sacred. It can be easy to fast-forward to Easter and scurry past the stories and liturgies that make us sad, or even uncomfortable; but this week is a remembrance, and each day is all the more meaningful because we know how the story ends. By the same token, Easter itself is all the more meaningful because we experienced the sacred, beautiful, and jarring pieces of this week. From Palm Sunday to the Great Vigil we participate in liturgies, hear scripture readings and sing hymns that require us to hold together life, death, and resurrection all at once—that’s a lot!

The Johannine telling of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem is rich with themes and even direct quotations from the Old Testament that highlight the crowd’s misunderstanding of Jesus. They believe he came to save their nation and that his kingship is political rather than eschatological. But the gospel writer does something fascinating, he acknowledges in verse 16 that the disciples were confused, and only after Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension would they be able to understand what was happening. For me, this provides great relief. It’s okay if I don’t understand sometimes.

This whole week is rich with mystery, big ideas, and complicated theology, and sometimes all we can do is sit in it still and quiet as we soak it all in. But also if you’re looking to make some sense of it at some point, remember that you know the whole story.  We aren’t at Easter yet, but you know what happens; Jesus’ persecution and death is not the end of the story. This is a week in which we get to recreate and remember the whole story that grounds our faith. I hope we can all find our own ways to bask in the mystery and hold fast to the whole story from life, to death, tothe resurrection of Jesus, the Risen Lord, and Savior of the World.