We see how the celebrations begin to turn darker as we hear the words of the Passion according to St Luke. The crowds become fickle and the cheers turn to jeers. The religious authorities become determined to do away with him because he is prepared to speak truth to power. In the end the Roman authorities, fearing a rebellion, send him to be crucified.
Throughout this week we witness how the one who is Lord and God is subjected to the worst that the world can throw at him. Yet, in the words of the prophet Isaiah, we also see how he met that rejection and abuse with gentleness and refused to play the same game. He trusted only in God.
On Maundy Thursday we come to see how Jesus gave the example of sacrificial love and of servanthood. We also see how he came to be denied and rejected by those who were closest to him. Then on Good Friday we journey with him to the Cross and to his words of mercy: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
There is a time of waiting and of preparation, before we commemorate that first Easter, when the disciples first became aware that the life that seemed to have been destroyed was still with them. Hope would rise again and love would triumph.
We live in a world where there is much violence and where the voices of good people often seem to be drowned out by hatred. We live in a fickle world, where commitment is often laid aside for convenience or for personal gain. Holy Week reminds us that despite the worst of our human nature, God’s love will overcome that darkness within us and around us.
We are invited to walk the way of the cross with Jesus – the path that leads to eternal life. In the meantime, let’s learn how to serve our King. In the words of St Andrew of Crete, we are invited to lay ourselves, instead of palms, at the feet of Jesus. In serving him we love both God and one another - and love is stronger than death.