by Andrea Tisher
Holy Week is here. Now. We’re in it. Already.
Jesus has entered the city of peace. He has been sung to, lauded, waved at with greenery. He has wept over the misunderstanding of who He is.
And now there’s really not much left to do, except to stay mindful of the events of the rest of the week. Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday.
Chittister rightly warns of the intensity of the drama that unfolds during this week.
Her opening comments are helpful, and I’ll return to them.
But first, I must quibble with Chittister. Which I really hate to do. She’s been such a lovely conversation partner and guide. But here, in what could be argued is the most important week, she drops the ball. Vague references to the opening liturgies of Holy Monday-Wednesday. Holy what? And then a whole chapter on the ways days of the week were measured and other assorted mundane topics. I’m trusting that as she leads us through the days of the Triduum (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday) that she’ll regain her footing in offering us ways to view these days and doorways into meaningful participation. But these overview chapters left me a little disappointed.
Back to her opening comments, as I think that’s where there are some gems…
Of Palm/Passion Sunday: “It reminds us that at the moment of what seems to be the height of Jesus’ public acceptance aslo begins the process of His public betrayal, His public failure, His public abandonment.”(130)
And of the week in general: “Why must this happen? What is all this suffering about? But deep down inside of us, we already know what the life of Jesus and these first days of Holy Week confirm: there are some things worth living for, even if we find ourselves having to die for them as well.” (130-131)