Lent is coming to a close in a way we’ve never seen before.At least I think no one in our lifetime has seen a Lent end this way. Holy Weekbegins this Sunday with Palm Sunday. This week is so AWESOME! The liturgies arefull of beauty as we celebrate the Lord’s Passion, Death and Resurrection. Whatmakes it so beautiful you may ask? The blessing of the palms, the reading ofthe Passion of our Lord, the washing of the feet, the veneration of the cross,the lighting of the Easter fire … we could go on and on. These traditions ofour faith are so wonderful and it is a true blessing to be able to participatein them. But this year it will all be very different.
No public Masses paints a whole different picture for thisyear’s Holy Week. Yes, the Bishops and Priests will still be celebrating theHoly Week Liturgies in private and if they are able have found ways tobroadcast these Masses for their faithful flocks to watch online. This is GREAT… but not the same. Many parishes will still provide palms for their parishioners.One blogger even painted and posted a free print out of paper palms for thosewho will be unable to receive them in person (Catholic Icing). The same bloggerhas created printable Stations of the Cross which can be purchased for a smallfee. These are very creative ideas and perhaps could ease a bit of the pain ofnot being able to participate in these liturgies and devotions in person.
So, what do we do this week in the midst of this shelter inplace, social distancing, no public Masses Holy Week? Surrender. Surrender towhat God has planned for you during this most holy week. God has a plan and wemust surrender to His will. This is often easier said than done for many of us.One small prayer that may help in this time of actively attempting to surrenderour wills to God is this:
“Oh Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything!”
This simple, yet powerful little prayer is part of aSurrender Novena written by Servant of God Father Dolindo Ruotolo. Fr. Dolindowas, for a short time, the spiritual director of Saint Padre Pio. This novenacan be found online if you would like to partake. It might help you during thisdifficult time to just be (and do) what God wants now and into the future.
Now, what do we do with this COVID 19 precautionary HolyWeek? Surrender. This is a wonderful opportunity to really put one’s self intothe Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Sit with Him atthe Last Supper, pray with Him in the Garden, stand with Him during Hiscondemnation, walk with Him as He carries the cross to Calvary, weep with Hismother Mary as He is crucified and buried. Participate in the Holy WeekLiturgies in any way you are able, especially online (and with your heart).There are so many resources and live Masses being posted. Just surrender andmake this the most memorable Holy Week ever. God bless you all.