Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Holy Week’s Reflection

By BISHOP LUIS R. ZARAMA, Commentary | Published April 16, 2014  | En Español

Something that always caught my attention on Holy Thursdays during my time as a pastor was the difficulty in getting volunteers for the washing of the feet. Sometimes even a few minutes prior, I was still pleading for volunteers to complete my group of 12.

I haven’t been able to understand the reason behind it, but I think that like Peter, it is due to our lack of humility. Humility is the key to fully experiencing our Holy Week.

It is not enough to proclaim Jesus as King on Palm Sunday; we also need to accept his invitation to serve us. How hard is it to let him serve us, to let him help us, to say yes to the Lord?

The washing of the feet is an invitation to not be afraid of making a stop in the journey and get some rest, allowing the Lord an opportunity to show us the way.

Jesus serves us from the cross from which he died for our sins. He offers himself as medicine and therapy to restore our souls and dignity as human beings, created in the image and likeness of God.

In order to experience Jesus’ love for each of us with humility, we should allow him to get closer and wash away everything that is harmful to our hearts and beings. Only then we will be able to celebrate Easter’s triumph.

On Holy Thursday, we witness Jesus’ selflessness when he washes the feet of his disciples and when he gives himself to us at the Last Supper, converting the bread and wine into his body and blood. On this day, he institutes the first Eucharist and creates a feast for our souls. How generous, Our Pascal Lamb!

On Good Friday, we accompany the Lord on the solemn ceremony of the Passion. The Church, the temple, and the altar are stripped of everything, the same way that Jesus was stripped from the cross to die for us. This day is an invitation to reflect and dispose of everything that has drawn us away from Him. Recognizing, accepting and letting it die are the only way to celebrate Jesus’ Resurrection and ours—the only way to live the new life he offers us.

Easter invites us to live in humility and to participate with Jesus Christ in this mystery of service, life and love. Our Holy Week is Jesus’ call through his Church to transform our hearts and celebrate this gift of life, Jesus Himself!