One reason I love the HOLY WEEK is that, it’s a time the Church forces us to reflect on the things that should be most important to us as individuals. The main things that often slip away amidst the hustle and bustle of life. We are made to reflect on our lives, our death and eternity. We also focus on Christ’s life, death and resurrection and put this at the centre of our reflection, constantly using him as the perfect yardstick for comparing how we are doing as Christians. We resolve to make adjustments to guide us back to the path of salvation when we miss our way. For those on the straight and narrow, it becomes a time to strengthen their resolve to keep being on track.
As an old Ibo adage goes “onye lote maka onwu, o mee nwabu”, meaning “when one remembers death, he becomes calm.” Although death is the sure end for every person alive, it is the least visited subject. It is never lightly confronted whether in thoughts or in reality. However, doing so regularly helps us keep calm as individuals.
The holy week is also a time when our mortality is brought to the fore front of our reflections. The realisation that all we have acquired in life – knowledge, wealth, possessions, friendships, enemies and so on, mean nothing because when we die, they become irrelevant. What’s more, the wealth of our material possessions cannot determine what our ultimate eternal destination will be.
Acquiring all that life has to offer is meaningless if we do not put them to good use. Do we act selflessly or selfishly? Do we love because we want to gain popular approval or because it is the right thing to do? Do we give to others just because we can or because we care? Do we spend our time reducing the pain and suffering around us? Do we lend a helping hand, provide a listening ear, or a shoulder to cry on? When we manage to be there for others, is it because we want to show off?
Holy week summarizes for me what Jesus came to do on earth. It also is a time of appraisal of one’s self. It’s no wonder Lent is the time the Church encourages us to retrace our footsteps back to God. It is a time of reconciliation with God and with man. A time of hope for our eternity and gratitude for salvation offered to all by the shedding of the perfect blood of Jesus Christ for all mankind.
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