With these words from St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians 11:23-26 we entered into the Triduum, the three days before Easter recalling Jesus’ passion and death.
Ultimately we remember Jesus’ love for us, for all humanity, and Jesus’ incredible love of God who was his strength and focus during his intense suffering. We remember not as a moment in history but for the purpose that we might remember how much God loves us and how this love encourages us to follow Jesus’ example. Jesus spoke to his disciples, “I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do” (John 13:1 – 15).
Just having entered into the Easter Season and now celebrating the glorious feast of the Resurrection, the Sisters of the Holy Redeemer reflect on the events of Holy Week, seeking to follow the example of Jesus’ love and service.
Holy Week began with Palm Sunday and the Sisters welcomed serveral guests as all recalled Jesus’ humility as he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. We remember how he was carried to his birthplace on a donkey and born in a humble dwelling. Jesus is our model of humility and simplicity.
On Tuesday, one of the Sisters traveled to Honduras to be present to the children at an orphanage there during Holy Week and Easter. Jesus reminds us that to follow him we must become like children and follow their example of wonder, trust, love . . .
That same evening, another Sister who assists with the PREP program at a local parish witnessed the children participate in the Living Stations as they re-enacted the Stations of the Cross and Jesus example of self-gift following out of love for humanity and God.
Wednesday brought preparations for the Triduum and Easter – Choir practice, the setting up of a temporary “place of resposition” to follow the Holy Thursday liturgy, writing of Easter cards, and baking of cookies among other activities. In our remembering we actively participate in the present moment to make it a living memory.
On Thursday the Sisters entered in the Triduum along with several guests. Participating in the foot washing and Eucharist recalling the events of the last supper we are reminded that our faith is to be lived in our loving service to others because we have first recieved God’s love for us. Imagine Jesus kneeling before you washing your feet!
On Good Friday, Sisters whether participating in ministry or a quiet prayer day, recalled the self-gift of God in Jesus as we kneeled in reverence before the cross. We are reminded that the cross is part of life, it may look different for each person, but with God’s love and grace we will receive new life only if we embrace our cross. There is no Easter Resurrection without Good Friday.
The Sisters continued in a spirit of quiet on Holy Saturday as we continued to prepare for the great feast of Easter. The Chapel was transformed from the barren simplicity of Lent to the blossoming new life of the Easter Season. We are reminded to follow Jesus in joy knowing the love of God who is with us in all seasons.
Now in this Easter day, may you rejoice in the love of God, this God who remembers you and sustains you as you follow Jesus in your every day whether it be a Holy Thursday, a Good Friday or and Easter Sunday.