And so we come to the end of our Lenten journey. This Sunday is Palm Sunday, the start of Holy Week. I always have mixed feelings about Holy Week. Part of me is glad to see it, because I am ready for Lent to be over. Another part of me is a little panicked. Another Lent is almost over, and I haven’t made nearly as much spiritual progress as I had hoped I would. Easter will be here soon, and I’m still not much closer to new life.
Holy Week: it feels like I need to try to cram into the next few days all the spiritual renewal I’ve neglected. It is lot like getting to a few days before a big event and deciding you need to lose all that extra weight in one week; like packing for a trip where there are going to be physical demands and deciding you really need to exercise a lot tonight if you are going to be in shape by the time you leave tomorrow.
No, I’m afraid Holy Week is not going to erase all those extra calories you’ve consumed over the past year or so, and trying to cram in all that exercise is only going to make you sore. Still, Sunday begins Holy Week. I wonder if taking our faith seriously for a week still might do us a lot of good. No, it can’t make up for a year of neglect, but it still might be the start of transformation.
I’ve been staring at a barren tree outside my window. Day after day, it has looked dry and dead. Then, suddenly, it looked as if something might be happening. Some rain, a couple of warm days, and then, almost like magic, it burst into life.
How did that happen? Who knows? Like resurrection, spring is one of life’s great mysteries. Apparently something had been happening inside that tree all along. I couldn’t see it, and I couldn’t tell, but still life was stirring. Then, just as Holy Week is about to begin, something suddenly changed.
I don’t know what you can do in the next week to make that kind of new life possible for you. I know it is too late to cram, but it is not too late to pray, and read, and serve. It might not help, but who knows what the Spirit of Life might be up to inside of you if you would only nourish it a little.
by Michael Piazza
Center for Progressive Renewal