Simple Ways to Observe Holy Week

So you can’t be in church in all week. Your boss can’t give you the time off, your two-year-old doesn’t understand “SSSHHHH!!” for the three-hundred and thirty-ninth time, and your school-aged children are going to turn into a McD’s french fry if you have to drive through one more time. But there are many ways we as Catholics can offer something to Jesus in his walk along his passion and death this week. “A burnt offering you would not accept” (Psalm 51). What is so powerful about Psalm 51 is that besides the fact that many priests pray it each night before going to bed, it is a prayer of repentance of the most sincere kind. What it is saying is that Jesus knows our heart real and true. You don’t have to hide from him or “fake good” when you pray. All we have to do, as this psalmist (who really did a doozy of a deed by killing the husband of his lover) truly look at ourselves as sinners; as worthless without the identity of a creation of God, reliant on Christ Jesus, who died for us. He doesn’t want our death on a cross in a return, he only wants a small sacrifice of an honest origin….your most sincere heart.

So, at least a day or two this week, turn off the TV or computer, give up putting salt on your food; forget the sugar in your coffee or tea, put the cookie down, don’t read that “page-turner” of a book you have been oogling at, and pick up the gospels. Read each of the four gospel writers’ version of Christ’s suffering this week. Walk with him in the way of the cross. Any of these small sacrifices and a contrite heart would be a most blessed first step of the way.

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