1. A week begins...
Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 12:12-16
The next day, a great crowd who had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” And Jesus found a young ass and sat upon it; as it is written,
“Fear not, daughter of Zion;
behold, your king is coming,
sitting on an ass’s colt!”
His disciples did not understand this at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that this had been written of him and had been done to him.
A week begins... It is not like the others. God - in his Son Jesus - will put on the garments of the Servant, the humiliated Servant, the Servant who is put to death. But first of all, Jesus chose to celebrate the Passover with his disciples.
He will entrust them with this mission to “do this in memory of him”. Leaving the table, Jesus takes the servant's apron and comes to wash the feet of those who will be responsible for announcing the Good News of the Resurrection. Jesus kneels in front of each one of those whom he has called and who followed him, without always understanding him. He, Jesus, seemed so different from what they had been taught about God... So their dismay at certain moments can be understood!
Jesus kneels before each one of them, despite a certain resistance from Peter.
This Thursday, he will kneel in front of each one of us. He will propose to wash our feet, these feet wounded by wandering along so many aimless paths, so many steps that lead us nowhere, we who refuse the path traced by the Gospel. These wounded and tired feet that have followed so many idols offering a happiness that is momentary and fleeting... Before each of us, Jesus will ask the same question: “Will you let me...?” This is the very last request before his arrest. This is the ultimate question that plunges us into the heart of God in his Son Jesus: “When will you finally accept the call to live in my life?”
A week begins... the week of the Son of God’s trial. He is accused of presenting himself as the beloved Son of the eternal Father. He is condemned because he has declared himself to be the Son of God. But what else can he say before the judges who are ready to condemn him? He is the Icon of the Father. On the day of the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist at the Jordan and again on Mount Tabor during the Transfiguration, God his Father prompts us to listen to him. In him, the Father has placed all his love. What have we done with this commandment? How are his Words inscribed on our hearts? How did his Word escape from our Bibles to dwell in our lives, to fuel our actions, to renew our witness?
This body that Mary took care to clothe is going to be tortured. His tormentors want to silence the Word and the only possible way is to attach it to this wood, to this cross. Why is it necessary to nail his hands which have had no other functions than to bless, to welcome, to forgive, and to share? Why attach the feet of the One who has always walked to meet the wounded of life, the "hopeless", the victims of all sorts of evil...? This week is the time when we will remember that now all suffering is accompanied, visited by Him. God fills our human crosses with his presence.
The Son cries out in his suffering and joins the tears of those who do not understand, who no longer know how to hope.
This week, God has an appointment at Golgotha with every man, woman, youth, and child. But before he died, Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God, will bequeath to us his Mother, the Virgin Mary: “Behold your mother.” We will be entrusted to his Mother. She is the disciple who will lead us every hour to her Son.
This week, God kneels before each one of us.
This week, God is stripped of his garments and the whip will wound and tear his flesh before the nails fasten him to the wood of the cross.
This week, Jesus will be laid in the tomb in haste. To begin the Sabbath, this time set aside for God, they won’t have time to care for his Son’s corpse.
This is the week of meeting with derision and violence, with misunderstanding, contempt, and rejection.
This week, this is the moment chosen by God to show just how far his love will go. It has no limit. What’s more, it is eternal, stronger than death, than all death.
So this week, we really need to call it Holy Week: it opens for us a path to new life… already the first glimpses of the light of the Resurrection can be seen.
Let’s make this week a holy week. It tells us everything about God and his Son. The Spirit will guide us to the heart of the Love of the Trinity.